When Gutter-Vac began (more than 20 years ago now), I wanted to ensure one simple thing….
A franchisee could go out for the day, make a good solid living to provide for their family by vacuum cleaning gutters for customers, but I also wanted to ensure that at the end of the day, they would be able to go home to their family…. In one piece!
Working on a roof and working on ladders is not the safest place to work, but if you have the knowledge on how to do this safely, plus the safety equipment to back you up, then there is no reason that you can’t go out and work at heights for the entire day and then make it home to your family each night.
This is why I began Gutter-Vac’s sister company, Ballantyne Safety. Not only is it an Registered Training Office (RTO) that teaches people how to work at heights, but we also have safety products and systems to ensure the safety of not just the Gutter-Vac franchisees, but also people from other companies that are working on roofs and climbing up and down ladders all day.
Many people don’t realise that we have actually trained many people from other companies as well as the Gutter-Vac franchisees. Why do people like our training? Because, believe it or not, you can do a working at heights course to be trained to work at heights WITHOUT having any practical training, just theoretical. I always do a practical session to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom because being on a roof and implementing what you have learnt is a very different feeling than just talking about it.
Ballantyne Safety also manufactures specialised roof anchor points that can be attached to a roof for just the time an individual needs to work on that roof, then they can be removed and used for the next job.
The secret (well, it’s not really a secret) is that we use a travel restraint system of working at heights rather than a fall arrest system. What does this mean? Basically the difference is that with a travel restraint system, if you fall whilst on a roof, you fall over on the roof, but not off the roof. A fall arrest system means that if you fall over, you actually fall off the roof, but you are held in a harness, basically dangling off of the roof.
By using a travel restraint system, this means franchisees can work on their own because with a fall arrest system, you must have two people onsite at all times. It also means that franchisees are kept safer because a fall off of the roof, even with a harness, can still cause injury. Not as much as a fall on the ground, but still not a pleasant experience that’s for sure.
So we take safety very seriously at Gutter-Vac. Every franchisee and ALL of their staff are trained to work at heights and have all the correct and current equipment to do so. Add to that we are fully insured to work at heights so all of this should give you peace of mind that when you hire Gutter-Vac to vacuum clean your gutters, we do so safely – for us and for you.