Just after the lunch hour today, my colleagues and I at Stantec heard some light banging from the window washer platform on the side of Stantec Tower. I told my colleagues about a video I'd seen some years ago that showed a similar platform being blown all over the sky by high winds, banging into a skyscraper repeatedly.
Not more than mere seconds after I finished my tale, we heard a tremendous crash. We rushed to the side windows and saw, just two stories below us, the window washer platform sailing through the air, with one of the workers dangling by a rope underneath. There was a collective gasp, and for a long moment I thought for certain I was about to see someone die right in front of me. After that moment passed, I saw that the worker was restrained by his safety harness, but even that knowledge didn't slow down my racing heart. It seemed like forever before emergency services arrived, but in truth it could only have been minutes. Edmonton fire rescue retrieved both men safely.
I haven't seen it myself, but colleagues reported that at least one window on our fifth floor was smashed through, which I imagine means some of our people had to be moved to other floors.
Today I feel very grateful for safety equipment and training and first responders. I mean, I always do, but today...especially so.