Chris Parkes, operations director at cleaning services specialist Julius Rutherfoord, highlights the unique challenges of cleaning the London's skyline, in a recent article on the European Cleaning Journal website.

Second only to Paris in terms of European skyscrapers, the city has more tall buildings than anywhere else in the UK.

Just as London's builders never stop, nor do the cleaning and property maintenance contractors. They are working hard to keep the city's façades clean and safe. This makes the city a high-risk place for its window cleaners.

Unfortunately, there are many examples within the cleaning industry of accidents involving working on height, many of them avoidable. Each accident highlights the  need for training and the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),  Parkes said.

Regulations from the Health & Safety Executive place duties on employers, the self-employed, facilities managers or building owners to ensure the safety  of anyone involved in a project that involves working at height.

These regulations stipulate that all work at height is properly planned and that those involved in the work are competent. The risks must also be assessed, including properly controlling the hazards from fragile surfaces such as glass, and appropriate work equipment must be selected and used at all times, the article said.

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