Get listed in the Spick and Span Directory

Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.

Whose fell off??

Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 30 January 2004
Just interested, has anyone fell off their ladder while cleaning?

How high were you?

And does it happen often??



Posted by seanc (seanc), 30 January 2004
not whill cleaning windows but i did whilst panting a facia top of the lader in my own little world (singing to my self) whil the num nut painting the b;ack line around the bottom of the house stood up tacking my lader and me with it away i fell in to a WELL established rose bush yes it f#####g hurt
Shocked Roll Eyes Shocked Roll Eyes Shocked Roll Eyes Shocked Roll Eyes
Posted by simonb (simonb), 30 January 2004
Slipped off a sloping extension roof - just kept my balance and wqas able to leap onto the grass it was soggy and I sank in about 6 inches. Every time i went back those giant footprints were still there. I always laugh when I think what the owner must have thought about them!
Posted by Old_Master (Old_Master), 30 January 2004
I was working  with a friend in the 70s he fell from a window ledge four floors up! below was a basement with railings to the street level.I was inside cleaning windows, another friend was cleaning the same window on the inside and actually saw him fall.
He landed on the ledge below it was like a miracle. We were all in shock! he came in had a cup of tea and went back out again! He said if he didnt go out straight away he thought he would never clean a window again. The look on the office staff who also saw it all was sheer terror.
The crazy things we used to do !!!! No harness no eyebolts.
Posted by Simon_King (Simon_King), 30 January 2004
'I've had two falls in 16years. Both were my fault. The first my ladder slipped back from a dormer and I landed in a rose bush, bent my ladder and yes it does @8*^*!>< hurt!
The second time was off a slippery roof. I slid down it looking like Fred Flintstone when he gets off that dinasour at the start of the cartoon! Face full of mud and a bruised ego! But you learn from falls. Now I use a Rojack Ladder Stopper and one of those Microlite Stand -offs. I use the pole more as well now. We should all try to work safer. No wonder some insurance companies won't touch us!!
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 30 January 2004
Hi Guys

You have reminded me of a little story that happened to a couple of guys who worked for me some twentyfive odd years ago.

They were cleaning windows in a block of residential flats next to a major Hospital in Leicester. Mick was on cleaning the second floor windows using a double twentyfive rung ladder. The ladder needed to be moved along to the next flat so Peter on the ground floor moved the ladder whilst Mick popped over the landing sat down with his legs through the railings to help the Peter support the ladder he was moving on the ground floor.

When Mick came to move he found his thighs had jammed in the railings. As the flats were next to a main hospital when the fire brigade arrived it was with three fire engines, lights blazing, sirens sounding, firecrew all helmets and boots.

Mick was sitting with his legs through the railings drinking a cup of tea that the flat holder had provided..  It took a long while for him to live that one down

Posted by Terry_Burrows (Terry_Burrows), 30 January 2004
Wink me fell off 2 years ago wind got me ladder,blew me to the left, I droped me tools,and jumped 16 rungs up Huhlanded in a paddle rolled over to break the fall,
hurt my ankle,was very lucky could have been much worse Shocked Wink
Posted by T_W_CONTRACTS (T_W_CONTRACTS), 30 January 2004
never fallen off ladder [touch wood]in 15 years
you have to concentrate the whole time . had a close escape with a rope cradle when working at television
centre [bbc] two of my mates pulled it up 7 floors
i went up in lift climbed out of window luckily i connected
my harness to frame of window got into cradle touch one of the ropes and dickhead at the bottom let go Shocked Shocked Shocked luckily my belt took strain and they quickly pulled it up  very very scary Shocked

my brother worked for firm in city of london & one of his
workmates got thumb taken off he got it caught in pulley
of bosins chair
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 31 January 2004
About sixteen years ago I used to work with a guy called John.
I was told that John's son fell off a ladder last year and died from head injuries. I don't know much more than that because I didn't like to ask.

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 31 January 2004
Hi Mark
          In the last 18 years i have had two accidents. The first one i was two floors up and the bottom of the ladder went and seconds later i was on the floor and the second time i slipped and went through a conservatory roof and caught an artery under my arm and ended up with about thirty stitches Shocked  Thats why these days i am if anything over cautious Roll Eyes

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 31 January 2004
Not while I have been a window cleaner but I used to work for a roofing firm, one day I was walking up a roof and someone had put a new slate in,  they had not fastened it and when I stood on it , it I just went from under my feet .I slipped down the roof off the end and on to a shed roof , I got up with only a couple of scratches  , and looked around to see if anyone had seen me
Posted by mickeyfat (VGC), 31 January 2004
7 years and touchwood the only thing thats happed (in my first month) was that the ladder was under a window that had a upvc type of wall thingy under it ..i lent to far to the left and the ladder slipped to the right ...luckly only slipped about 3 stoped on some bricks that was justtering out of the wall Shocked
i was on the second floor not much underneath me..proberly would have been fine if i went all the way...BUT that didnt stop me needing to go home then and there and chnging my pants....i have been so carfull since then ..i think it was a good thing as it made me more cautious Wink...
i im sorry but i think steves going through a conservatory roof is the coolest Grin
because it made me not sure why Roll Eyes

Posted by jake (jake), 1 February 2004
After 30 years in the building game I've had a few falls in my time, some quite bad, but I always got a way with it! Not the last one however, August '99 I fell18ft, had a year off and never went back!! That is how I came to be in the cleaning business and I have'nt looked back!!

As regards falls from ladders, has any one fell off stepping down from the top section of a double,down to the lower one?  The reason I ask is that it's something I have nearly done a few times. Just a lack of concentration I suppose, but always puts my heart in my mouth! While on holiday in France some years ago, I noticed French workers using doubles that were built ,back to front' .That is that when you step down from the top section to the lower you step straight on it, hope that makes sense. Are these available in good old Blighty!


Posted by Neil (wylie), 1 February 2004
Yes You can get them.
While I was setting up my window round I was working for a firm installing Fascias Soffits and Guttering.  
They used the French type and I thought they were excellent. It took a bit of getting used to but once you do I think they are much safer.
My old boss used to send away for them, If you want me to find out the name and how to get them I should be able to.
I am not a big fan of the French but they do make good ladders. (there Brandy aint bad either)

Posted by jake (jake), 2 February 2004

Yes ,I would be interested if you can find out where to get a pair. I know I'm going to step off into fresh air one day!!  I wonder if the're as cheap as their beer??!!

Posted by Old_Master (Old_Master), 2 February 2004
If the french had ladders like we do they would rip up the paving slabs go on strike and then burn all the ladders.
Perhaps their right at least they get the goverment to do what they want.
Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 2 February 2004
Lansford do "Starlight" rope operated french ladders.

They say :

"Note also that in common with most Continental designs, the single rope is located in the middle of the ladder, not on the side stiles,  and these ladders are positioned with the top sliding section closest to the wall, rather than away from the wall!  All rather different from the normal UK design but in many ways it is better"

Posted by Neil (wylie), 2 February 2004
They sound just like the ones I was using on the job I mentioned.
With the rope in the middle they go up and down so easily it amazes me know one else uses the system (at least not that I have seen)
You feel so safe on them and on the way down if you miss the change over part if doesnt matter coz you step onto rather than off the next section.

Posted by jake (jake), 2 February 2004

Thanks for the info, will definitly check them out, they seem reasonably priced, only draw back would be getting used to using a rope operated ladder on a average size double.

Posted by brucie (brucie), 3 February 2004
Never fallen off but twice steped off ladder straight into bucket Embarassed
Posted by Wishy-Washy_window (Mikey Y), 3 February 2004
I had a fall about 2 years ago, cleaning a large window I guess my feet were about 8 ft high, it was an internal window above a door, with marble floor, the ladder slipped ina second, I landed standing upright on a rung, dont no how I did not break my foot, but I have problems with my heel almost every day now, and have bought some special insoles to cushion the heels.

Lesson learnt, use a rubber mat when on marble floor Wink

Mike Y
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 3 February 2004
I have stepped off the bottom rung straight into a fish pond. Middle of winter and up to me knees in water,
Oh how i chuckled about that !!

This page is a thread posted to the cleanitup forum at and archived here for reference. To jump to the archive index please follow this link.