window washer dangling above Chicago high-rise
Photo Credit: @dodgerman

Window Washer Dramatically Rescued After Nearly Falling From High-Rise

  August 22, 2019

By Greg Zimmerman

When hiring contractors for outsourcing, facility managers usually have to expect some sort of minor hassles — cleaning not done to specifications, HVAC service not performed properly, or even security guards napping on the job. But a recent near calamity in Chicago took this hassle factor to the next level.

A window washer nearly plunged 54 stories after one of his lines broke while performing cleaning on a Chicago high-rise. The man fell two stories before his main line held to save him. The washer dangled high above the street until he was rescued by fire crews, who broke a window between the 53rd and 54th floors, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

But that wasn’t the end of this dramatic story. The window washer couldn’t fit through the window, so fire crews attached another rope and pulled him up to the roof. Meanwhile, a thunderstorm, lightning, and intense winds complicated the rescue. 

Thankfully the man was deemed to be in “good condition” after his traumatic near-fall. 

WGN has some video of the man dangling and his subsequent rescue. And according to WGN’s story, the management company is under scrutiny for allowing the window washer to be doing work in dangerous weather conditions.

This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. Read his cover story about Chris Walinski and his mission to make open offices flexible and productive


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