Window cleaners plummet 12 storeys … and live

Never underestimate the importance of maintenance checks

Workers carrying out window cleaning on a building in Sydney's CBD had a close call when the cage that they were suspended in snapped a cable and dropped 12 storeys towards the ground. Only moments before the incident one of the men had shared photos on social media.

Bystanders Bystanders, including a passing motorist, came to the aid of the men when the accident happened.

One man in his mid 20's sustained back and internal injuries when he was thrown from the cage, bounced off an an awning and was then left dangling by his harness. A witness reported that he ended up barely three metres off the ground and felt if he hadn't been wearing a harness he would most probably have died. 

The other workman, who crashed onto the awning with the cage, received lower leg injuries and is in a serious but stable condition.  

Emergency workers

Emergency workers who attended the scene praised the actions of the bystanders who had assisted both the workers by using the available equipment to reach and tend to them until the professionals arrived at the area. One motorist even used the roof of his ute as an area to support and stabilise the dangling worker until the ambulance arrived. Additionally, they had made room at the scene so that emergency crews could easily carry out their work.

This accident emphasises several points:

  • The importance of wearing safety harnesses and using appropriate fall protection equipment
  • The necessity to carry out regular inspections on all equipment that is being used
  • Keeping control of the situation and ensuring emergency services are able to quickly and easily attend to the injured can be critical 


Is your roof access and fall protection equipment regularly inspected for wear and tear? Do a Height Safety Health Check to evaluate your risk. 

For more information on your obligations contact Sayfa on 1300 301 755 or