Window cleaner falls from third floor to his death after handle he’s holding snaps off

A window cleaner died when a metal handle he was holding suddenly snapped, sending him to his death as he worked with his son.

Kenneth McGready, 69, fell while cleaning the home of the third bedroom home in Glasgow, and hitting a metal railing below.

A fatal accident inquiry held at Glasgow Sheriff Court heard his son, Christopher, was working with him on the day and heard his scream.

It heard the window cleaner had been standing on the outside ledge holding a metal handle on the inside when it snapped, sending him falling from the window, Glasgow Live reported.

Cameron Adam, a senior health and safety executive inspector, said Mr McGready should have been using extendable water poles to carry out his work.

In the wake of the fall Mr McGready was given first aid but died at the scene.

A post mortem established the cause of death as chest and pelvic injuries caused by a fall from a height.

Sheriff Jonathan Guy ruled Mr McGready’s death may have been avoided if he had used specialist equipment to carry out his work.

In a written judgement, he said: “I accepted Mr Adam’s evidence that the deceased could have cleaned the windows at the property using a water fed pole.

“As the use of such a pole would have avoided the deceased having to work at height, I accepted Mr Adam’s evidence that this was the safest way to clean the windows; especially since it was not possible to use a fall arrest harness.”

“I would nonetheless hope that the tragic circumstances of this death, which must have been deeply traumatic for the deceased’s son as a result of witnessing the accident, are sufficient to highlight to window cleaners the importance of carrying out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, and having the appropriate equipment with them when undertaking this work, so as to ensure that they avoid working at height when it is reasonably practicable to do so.”