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Window washer falls to his death at business hotel in Osaka Prefecture

19 Comments

A window washer fell to his death while working at a nine-story business hotel in Neyagawa City, Osaka Prefecture, on Monday.

The incident occurred at around 2:10 p.m., Kyodo News reported. According to police reports, the man, who was in his 60s, was found collapsed on an external staircase near ground level.  

Police said the man was cleaning windows while seated on a board, which was suspended from a rope. He was slowly descending from the hotel’s seventh floor when the rope tethered to the wooden board came loose for some reason.

A witness said she saw the board with the man fall near the fifth floor, about 12 meters from ground level.

Although the man was wearing a helmet, he did not have a safety harness, police said.

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19 Comments
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Poor man. RIP.

From the address, its obvious which hotel is must be. If safety there was lax, I don't think they deserve anonymity from the press. Every high rise building will need its windows washing and should be set up for it to be done safely.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Poor guy, and just before the holidays. I hope his family is well taken care of.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

As a retired roofing industry safety officer my only comment is that only a foolish worker wears no safety harness.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

“the rope tethered to the wooden board came loose for some reason”

For some reason? That reason would be complacency or neglect. Don’t these guys use safety lines? I have a friend who does this in Australia and the law states they have to have two lines connected.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

There's gonna be a lawsuit. That worker's company is going to take a fall too!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That worker's company is going to take a fall too!

New to Japan?

The company will probably be fined 300,000 yen.

And the executives will do a little bow on TV, maybe with some crocodile tears.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Story lacks details about whether he worked for a company or was he a gig worker.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The work being done at my company now and what I see all over…a lot of construction workers don’t put on a harness even though their on an edge, or up very high.

Feel so bad for this man, wish he strapped himself in.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A wooden board? That alone is asking for trouble. One rope? Double trouble. No safety harness? A predictable accident with a predictable outcome, unfortunately. RIP.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

One would think when you are employed and expected to do such dangerous work safety should always be first. In this case there is no second second, the worker has probably done this job many time and became to comfortable with it and all it takes is one mistake that could cost you. I would assume he was not taking his job seriously and not thinking about surviving a full body fall and only thinking about falling and hitting his head because the article states he only wore a helmet. What an unplanned event!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Although the man was wearing a helmet, he did not have a safety harness, police said."

What did he think the helmet would do from that height so as to negate the need for a harness? Or was it just laziness? Must have been horrible to regret it for the few seconds it took to the ground.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

whether he worked for a company or was he a gig worker.

Reading between the lines, I'd say the latter. Can't imagine any "company" allowing that kind of work to be done on the fly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What did he think the helmet would do from that height so as to negate the need for a harness?

in Japan, you have to wear a helmet for any situation that requires you to look like you have some kind of importance attached to you. Not to mention the magic red cones. Unfortunately, these superficial ’safety’ measures don’t cover actual life threatening events.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Proper way how to do work from above aka rope access is to use two ropes at all time. Your descending device is on one and backup device which activates during certain speeds is on the another. Of course, wearing safety harness is a must. Piece of wood between two ropes is not remotely enough. Poor guy fell to his death before of the negligence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't believe he did not have a safety harness as mishaps do happen.

RIP and hope the hotel improves its safety standards.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A rope tethered to the wooden board is called a Bosun's Chair. I washed windows straight out of high school for a summer to kill time before my stint in the military and often used a bosun's chair. But it was a given that we would be wearing a safety harness connected to a safety line separate from the chair itself before descending from any rooftop whatever the height as per Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards (OSHA) or we would be shut down! we would use a lanyard with a locking device that we connected between our safety harness and the safety line. This locking device is what saves you from incidents described in this story.

Seems to me J-gov ought to be regulating the industry more tightly so accidents like this don't happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The days of human widow washers are numbered; drones can do the task faster with zero risk.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"There's gonna be a lawsuit. That worker's company is going to take a fall too!"

No, there will be no lawsuit. This is not America (nor Australia, U.K., etc.) The human rights of the individual account for naught; companies which employ workers are able to flought the law with impunity...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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