Today I worked with some very cool guys. Henk Jan from Montage van der Linde hired me to photograph the days work on the Maastoren in Rotterdam and at the same time act as a supervisor regarding the rope access and safety part (via Safe Site). They have to replace some windows on the topfloors. Things you have to know: There is no crane, just the window cleaner bucket(?), a winch, the windows weigh about 950 kilograms, are something like 4 by 3,5 meters and 5 centimeters thick. Oh, right it’s 160 meters high. They use a machine that has multiple suction cups and keeps them at the right pressure. It holds glass up to a 1000kg.Today we did the first window and probably the most difficult one. The outside of the window was really busted, so they had to attach the suction cup on the inside of the building, lift the window out and then pick it up with the winch on the roof. I have seen a lot of crazy stuff in my life and today is right up there. A pretty intense day! These guys really know what they are doing. They reminded me of the roughnecks on the oil rigs my grandfather told me about. The cowboys of the glass fitter industry. I think they can do any job they are asked, and do it SAFE!
Henk Jan is the boss and really understands the need for proper safety measures. Allthough him and Bram now have a basic training in working at height, including rappelling, he still wants a supervisor on site. Just in case something happens and also for the more complex rigging. There wasn’t another company who wanted the job, because basically they don’t have the skills, tools and mindset to do it. Henk Jan does have all that and makes sure everyone in his company also does.
When we had lunch, Henk Jan and the guys looked like these old construction workers from New York in the 1920′s. Except they have safety lines. I asked Henk Jan to sit where the window was for the Dailyclick and he obliged. He was so relaxed sitting there, that he actually started rolling a cigarette!
All in all a great day! I’m looking forward to tomorrow
Shot with a Nikon D700 at 20mm. Available light and one sb800 on camera right. Lightroom 3 for the postprocessing