Painters in the Danger Zone
30 November, 2021
30 November, 2021
Don’t let anyone tell you painting isn’t a dangerous job! These painters found themselves in some extremely precarious, life-threatening situations. This shows the importance of vigilant safety enforcement as well as community support when things go horribly wrong. After Thanksgiving, we can be grateful that these workers’ lives were saved.
A condo dweller in Bangkok, Thailand faces attempted murder charges after she cut a support rope that two painters were using to make some repairs on the outside of the high-rise building where she lived. Angry that the condo didn’t tell her these painters might be at work outside her window, she now faces up to 20 years in prison. The painters had planned to lower themselves from the 32nd floor down to the 26th to repair a crack in the building, but when they got to the 30th, they noticed someone from a lower floor had cut the rope.
While a third painter supported them from the top of the structure, the other two tried alerting one of the building’s residents through the nearest window but no one was at home. Finally, another couple noticed the painters calling for help and they were rescued unharmed.
Along with the murder charges, the woman faces charges for property destruction as well. She stated that she had no intention of trying to kill the painters. At first she denied any wrongdoing at all, but a DNA analysis of the severed rope proved that she had in fact been the one who cut it. A video of the incident has garnered over a million views on YouTube.
Recently fire crews rescued a painter who was putting on some finishing touches at the Parkland Theater in Cincinnati. Working 25 feet in the air, his bucket lift ran into some powerlines and the lift caught fire, trapping him in the bucket.
Fortunately, the fire department was right across the street and able to respond quickly, however since the electric was on the ground, they couldn’t use water to put out the fire, leaving the painter stranded for about 30 minutes. They used dry chemicals to control the fire until the electricity could be turned off. The local energy company also had a hand in the rescue.
The theater, built in 1881, was being repainted in preparation for a reopening, which had to be postponed for cleaning and some minor damage repair. Other than smoke inhalation, the painter was unharmed.
Earlier this year, attention to safety practices and a daring rescue saved some painters in Naples, Florida, when their support system broke and the swing stage fell out from underneath them, leaving them hanging from the side of the building, 14 stories high. While severely shaken, one of the men managed to climb from the shelves on the platform around a pillar and into an open window on the ninth floor.
The other had to hold on, balancing himself in a 10-inch balcony while firefighters worked to rescue him, all the while trying to beat an oncoming storm. The captain of the North Collier Fire Department reported that it was the proper use of harness and safety gear that saved their lives, and in fact the rescue was only possible because the painters had on safety equipment. This allowed the first painter the leverage to climb to safety, and allowed the second painter to hang long enough to be saved with a hand to hand rescue, as the firefighter helped him jump from one ledge to another and enter the building unhurt. This is the first such rescue in this area in 15 years, but the firefighters stay trained so they are ready whenever the need arises.
At the time of the report, the cause of the collapse had not been determined.
Few details seem to be reported on a rescue in Toronto earlier this year, where fire crews rescued a painter whose swing stage was hanging at a 45 degree angle near the top of a 22-story structure. The crews broke a window on the 19th floor to bring the painter to safety.