BOSTON — Two window washers who work for Harvard Maintenance Inc. were rescued by firefighters when the platform they were standing on malfunctioned and left them stranded 37 stories above the city streets, according to The Boston Globe.
Kyle Redmond and Julio Ortiz were cleaning the windows of the Exchange Place skyscraper when their platform suddenly fell 20 feet and came to rest at a 45-degree angle, the story stated.
According to the story, the men began screaming and pounding on the windows of the all-glass building to get the attention of building occupants.
Though the official cause of the incident remains unknown, it is speculated that the two men did not perfectly synchronize their efforts as they lowered the two-motor scaffold, and once the scaffolding became unbalanced, the workers had to rely on their safety harnesses to keep them from falling, the story noted.
The Boston Fire Department broke through two windows above where the men were stranded and hoisted them up to safety in a rescue operation that lasted 20 minutes, the story added.
Lieutenant John Soares of the Boston Fire Department said: "It seemed like a week. They were shaken and rightfully so. They just wanted to get off the scaffolding as soon as they could. They were thankful and grateful."
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) listing of workplace safety investigations, Harvard Maintenance Inc. has been the subject of two inquiries since 2004, one in Manhattan and one in Minnesota.
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