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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    How to safely clean exterior windows


    Window cleaners must ensure they clean exterior windows safely to prevent injuring themselves and others. Here is how.

    How to safely clean exterior windows

    The most common window cleaning accidents are falls from height. To prevent such accidents, it is vital to use the right type of equipment and always work with utmost care.

    Avoiding working at height

    To prevent injuries from falling from a height, it is recommended to avoid working at height whenever possible by:

    • Using water-fed telescopic poles
    • Cleaning windows from the inside or
    • Cleaning windows from a balcony

    If none of these options are reasonably possible, suitable equipment to access and clean exterior windows at height must be provided.

    Accessing windows at height

    In many cases, use of a portable ladder is the most practical and sensible solution. To ensure it is safe to use a ladder to clean exterior windows, you must make sure the ladder is:

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    • Long enough to reach windows without over-stretching
    • Strong and in good condition (i.e. no visible damage or defects)
    • Positioned on firm, even ground and stable, so it cannot move while you are working on it

    The Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) publication INDG455 provides helpful information on safely using ladders. For especially hard to reach windows, use of specialist equipment may be necessary (learn more).

    Fall arrest equipment

    The risk of falling from height must be minimised further by a provision of fall arrest equipment, which typically consists of safety harnesses connected to anchor points via energy-absorbing lanyards. This kind of equipment must be:

    • Properly adjusted to fit wearers
    • Maintained in safe condition
    • Inspected regularly and replaced when necessary to prevent deterioration or damages causing accidents at work.

    HSE publication INDG367 provides detailed guidance on how to properly inspect this type of equipment.

    Personal protective equipment

    Whenever the risk of injuries at work cannot be minimised in any other way, window cleaners must also be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes:

    • Hard hats and/or safety helmets
    • Protective footwear, gloves and high visibility clothing

    Training in the correct use of fall arrest equipment, PPE and safe working procedures must also be provided.

    Right to compensation

    If you were injured while cleaning windows, you could be entitled to work injury compensation if you were not:

    • Provided with the correct, well-maintained equipment
    • Trained in the use of such equipment

    Get helpful window cleaning injury advice by calling us, Accident Advice Helpline, on 0800 689 0500 (from Any UK landline) or 0333 500 0993 (from a mobile phone) now.

    Date Published: May 2, 2017

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.