Window Cleaning Association Creates Safety Guide for Workers


Through its alliance with OSHA, the International Window Cleaning Association has developed an online field guide for protecting the safety and health of window cleaners. The mobile-friendly guide offers best practices on identifying and avoiding fall, chemical, electrical and other hazards workers face on the job.

Employers must develop and provide a safe window cleaning operation to protect the safety and health of workers and the general public.

In a recent article, SUN News reported that 19 construction workers were injured when the scaffolding at a building site in Oakland, CA collapsed on May 26. There were no fatalities.

Regardless of what type of equipment and tools may be used on the job, the equipment must be properly inspected and maintained before it gets used and that employees are properly trained in a language they fully understand.

The guide also includes the following information on PPE:

Workers in the window cleaning industry should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize exposure to serious workplace injuries and illnesses.

All PPE should be safely designed and constructed and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide PPE to their workers and ensure its proper use.

Employers are also required to train each worker as follows:

  • When PPE is necessary
  • What kind of PPE is necessary
  • How to properly put PPE on, adjust, wear and take it off
  • The limitations of the PPE
  • Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the PPE

Under OSHA’s walking- working surfaces standard, OSHA CFR 1910.28 to 1910.30; employers must ensure that workers who use personal fall protection and work in other high hazard situations are trained about fall and equipment hazards, including fall protection systems.
Workers are required to:

  • Properly wear PPE
  • Attend training sessions on PPE
  • Care for, clean, and maintain PPE
  • Inform a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE.

In November 2016, OSHA published the Final Rule on Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems for General Industry.