Report: Devon hired “Budget Glass Cleaning” to unsuccessfully clean tower windows

As some of the windows at Devon Tower remain covered by plywood following last May’s “Window Wash of Terror” pop-up thrill ride, The Oklahoman has launched an investigation to figure out what caused the event that captivated viewers from across the world.


Expert: Window washing incident atop Devon Tower in May likely human error

On the morning of May 15, two men swung violently in a window washing basket at the top of the Devon Tower in downtown Oklahoma City…

An expert told The Oklahoman he speculates the incident likely was due to human error because of weather conditions on that day.

Stefan Bright, safety director for the International Window Cleaning Association, said wind speeds atop the 50-story building likely were too high for safe usage of the machine.

“If it wasn’t so windy, these guys would have gotten the platform down and been able to tie it in (to the side of the building) and been able to work safely,” Bright said. “Without exploring all the facts, I’m leaning toward this as user error.”

I mean no disrespect to the fine people of the International Window Cleaning Association, but are they really blaming the two dudes who were hanging for dear life as the lift twirled around Oklahoma City like a cheap fair ride? Considering those high-flying daredevils were likely just doing what their bosses told them to do, that seems kind of weak.

Without exploring all the facts, I’m leaning toward a different cause – Devon is fucking cheap.

Check this out:

According to OSHA regulations, whatever entity owns a building is responsible for having the window washing unit fully inspected by a “competent person” once a year, as well as having an inspection 30 days before use.

They also are responsible for making sure that anyone using their window washing unit is trained…

Devon uses workers from the Tulsa-based company Budget Glass Cleaning. The company was not available to comment on its training procedures by deadline.

Wait. One of Oklahoma’s richest companies hired Budget Glass Cleaning to wash the windows on their $750-million glass tower that protrudes from our skyline like a giant blue glistening cock? Don’t blame the guys on the lift – the “user error” on this goes to whoever was put in charge of hiring them!

Seriously, I know the energy biz isn’t booming like it once was, but was Budget Glass Cleaning the best they could do? Was Premium Glass Cleaning too expensive? If so, we should be concerned. Budget Glass Cleaning sounds like the type of place that sends door-to-door salesman in nicely pressed Polos to canvass local neighborhoods in search of a cheap buck. Hell, maybe that’s how they got the job…


“Devon Energy, how may I help you.”

“Hey, my name is Kevin with Budget Glass Cleaning. Who would I need to talk to about getting your windows cleaned?”

“That would be Mr. Nichols.”

“Can I speak to him?”

“I’ll send you up.”

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14 Responses

  1. Their website is, possibly because is a glass company in Canada. I’m sure Devon takes safety for the window washers as much as they do for their oil field workers.

    My guess is these guys were contractors, and probably could have refused to go up there because of safety concerns. However being contractors they wouldn’t get paid that day, might not get called again, and there would probably be two other contractors up there within hours. Those guys might have been the second, third , or even fourth pair that were called.

    I’m sure Devon farmed this all out either to Budget Glass, or someone else who farmed it out to avoid liability. It would be fun to see an activist shareholder, or someone with a single share of Devon bring this up at the annual shareholders meeting.

  2. Well hey, when the state you do business in ranks 43rd in doing business..

  3. *GASP!!!!* An American company pushes poor people into working under dangerous conditions to improve their bottom line? Never!!!

    1. Agreed completely!! If it’s in the pursuit of improving the bottom line, it can’t be wrong!
      Next thing you say is we’ll have a multiple bankruptcy filing reality TV host in the White House!

    2. Why weren’t the workmen able to refuse dangerous working conditions under the safety rules negotiated into their union contract?

      Oh. I see. Never mind.

      But at least they weren’t being victimized by greedy union bosses. 😉

  4. Boeing outsourced its software for the 737max to a overseas firm that pays its engineers about $12 an hour to save a buck and it cost them billions crashing 2 planes and grounding several fleets of planes When will these big companies learn that going cheap is not the best idea. Trained craftsman that are qualified and paid decently will cost much less in the long run. Plywood on the Devon tower should be good example of that also. Pay people what they’re worth. Its safer for all of us and costs less.

    1. Not a word about the hundreds of lives lost in your comment? SMH…

    2. With today’s times of zero loyalty between employers and employees, the upfront costs are more important than the back end costs. Also, you can blame the employees that are no longer there for the failure.

  5. Actually those two window washers were traumatized so much by the incident that a career change was necessary. They now work for a subsidiary of Budget Glass Cleaning called Budget Lawn Service. They won’t even get any where near the highest setting on the mowers.

  6. Devon has a clause in their agreement with the window washers that states, “Should worker(s) fall from platform, worker(s) shall make a reasonable attempt to rub grime from windows as they descend, since they’re going that way anyhow and are technically still on the clock while plummeting to their deaths.”

  7. In true DVN form, they will probably list the building for sale with all employees with it. Now that it is costing them money and not making them money.

  8. “Hey, Earl. You wanna tie the safety lines before we start?”
    “No. Fuck no. Let’s drop 10 stories and then run it. Ought to save us 20 minutes. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?”

  9. Devon Is wealthy company. They can spend 6 or 10 million on a horizonal well but they can not use a professional windows cleaning company with proper bonding, insurance and lisense.

    Sounds like a (you get what you pay for type of things. ) Devon will hopefully learn from this PR diaster but in Oklahoma we do not learn from our mistakes. Just look at the OKC thunder and what if.

  10. I put the blame on Budget Glass Cleaner of Tulsa. Yes, we cleaned the tallest skyscrapers in Tulsa, so we’ve got the experience that you’re looking for!!! (Fun fact: Tulsa had the four tallest buildings in Oklahoma until 2011.) So what’s an extra 200 feet, it’s nothing for us here at Budget Glass Cleaner. Well, you were wrong, that extra 200 feet made all the difference. Your plans and check lists didn’t factor in the extra wind speed, and now you have a wild carnival ride over downtown OKC.

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