Unique workplace hazards put window washers in Las Vegas at risk for suffering serious occupational injuries or death. Keeping the windows of the area’s numerous hotels clean and clear for tourists and other guests, window washers work outside of buildings, suspended above the street, and often hundreds of feet in the air. The nature of their work presents significant dangers and opportunities for work-related accidents.
Dangerous Working Conditions
Working while suspended at significant heights, window washers face a range of workplace dangers. Environmental factors, such as wind gusts or rain, may cause washers to slip or pull them away from the side of the buildings as they work. Human-caused accidents, including slipping on a piece of equipment or another item on the scaffolds with them may also result in window washer accidents. So too may equipment failures, like the scaffolding disconnecting or breaking. While all falls may result in serious injuries, those experienced by window washers as a result of work-related accidents often result in death due to the distances that workers may fall.
How Can Window Washers Stay Safe?
Window washers can take several precautions to help ensure their safety while working. Some of the safety measures workers can take include:
- Wearing personal protective equipment
- Checking scaffolding or other suspension devices before use
- Using the safety line
- Staying mindful of the conditions
- Attending regular workplace education and safety classes
If asked to work in unsafe conditions or use defective equipment, window washers should be prepared to refuse the work. The Occupational Safety and Health Act specifies that employees are entitled to a safe workplace that is free of danger. Therefore, employers who ask window washers to work under unsafe conditions or in dangerous situations are in violation of the law.
What Can Building Owners Do to Prevent Window Washer Accidents?
While much of the onus of staying safe on the job lies with window washers themselves, building owners may take certain steps to help keep the workers they hire safe. To help avoid accidents resulting from equipment failures, building owners should ensure their scaffolding setups meet the necessary safety standards and conduct regular checks to look for wear or other issues that may affect the safe use of the equipment.