"We know the ropes!"Certified: 2003
Bosun’s chair with decent control is one of the most common types of equipment employed by the window cleaning trade.
A bosun's chair or boatswain's chair is a device used to suspend a person from a rope to perform work aloft. It is distinguished from a climbing harness by the inclusion of a more or less rigid seat, providing more comfort than even the best-padded straps for long-term use. In exchange, the bosun's chair does not allow the freedom of movement necessary for climbing, and the occupant is generally hoisted or lowered into place using the rope alone.
Some bosun's chairs consist of little more than a short plank and a suitable set of ropes to suspend it from; these are usually used with a separate harness in case the user should slip off the plank. Other bosun's chairs, particularly the type commonly carried on yachts for masthead repair, incorporate more straps so that the wearer cannot fall out, though they still include a rigid or semi-rigid seat.
As well as on ships and boats where they originated, bosun's chairs are also used for working at height on buildings and other structures. In commercial window cleaning, the term 'bosun's chair' is used for other devices suspended from rope and equipped with seatboards, such as controlled descent apparatus (CDAs). However, CDAs cannot be raised and lowered like a true bosun's chair, and can be used for descent only.