Window Cleaning Field Safety Guide

Window Cleaning Field Safety Guide

Stay up to date with the industry best practices and the comprehensive
list of the major recognized safety hazards of professional window cleaning.
Stay Safe On The Job!

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Introduction

This guide is dedicated to providing up to date information on the major safety hazards that may be encountered during professional window cleaning.

Select your section below to learn more.

Disclaimer

Through the OSHA and International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) Alliance, IWCA developed this material for informational purposes only.

It does not necessarily reflect the official views of OSHA or the U.S. Department of Labor.

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How to use this guide.

The purpose of this field guide is to provide you with a list of the major recognized safety hazards which may be encountered during professional window cleaning. This field guide also provides some of the key best practices to address these hazards and help you stay safe on the job. Click on the links below to read more about each section.

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Window Cleaning Field Safety Guide

Contents

A. Purpose of Field Guide

The purpose of this field guide is to provide you with a list of the major recognized safety hazards which may be encountered during professional window cleaning. This field guide also provides some of the key best practices to address these hazards and help you stay safe on the job.

B. Disclaimer

Through the OSHA and International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) Alliance, IWCA developed this material for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the official views of OSHA or the U.S. Department of Labor.

C. Employer Responsibilities

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

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

Be sure to follow all manufacturers’ recommended guidelines for assembling, using, maintaining and inspecting any equipment used for cleaning windows.

D. Types of Window Cleaning Operations

The following are the major types of window cleaning operations. Depending on the type of operation, workers may be faced with different safety and health hazards. The window cleaning industry is segmented into two categories: ground work and suspended work. Ground crews clean windows by accessing them using ground-based equipment, including extension poles, water fed poles, ladders and aerial man lifts. Suspended workers are supported on the sides and off the roofs of buildings while cleaning.

  • Commercial Work. Commercial work includes route work, low to mid-rise work and high-rise structures.
    • Route Work: A route company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on first or second floor commercial window cleaning and cleans these accounts on a recurring daily, weekly, bi- weekly or monthly basis. This company’s accounts will include structures such as storefronts, shopping malls, professional buildings, restaurants, and automobile dealers.
    • Low to Mid-Rise Work: A low to mid-rise company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on ground based operations that are typically performed on commercial buildings under five stories in height; often cleaned using non-suspended equipment such as ladders, extension poles, water fed poles and aerial work platforms.
    • High-Rise Commercial: A high-rise company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on cleaning commercial structures that are more than four stories in height; often employees of high-rise window cleaning companies engage in suspended work using rope descending systems or suspended scaffolding.
  • Residential Work: A residential company is a window cleaning company that performs residential window cleaning. A residence is where people live, not where they work, so extra care and consideration must be taken to work safely around personal belongings, furniture, or stairs, for example.
  • Construction Cleaning: A post-construction cleaning company provides window cleaning services at the conclusion of the original construction of a structure. Construction cleaning occurs on both commercial and residential structures.

One of the most important steps to keeping workers safe on the job is to perform a site assessment before starting work at a site. The site assessment should identify the safety and health hazards workers may encounter at a particular location. A sample job site evaluation and work plan can be found on the IWCA website.

This section identifies the major workplace hazards faced by window cleaning workers that should be evaluated as part of the site assessment. See the following sections for how to address those hazards.

The following are some of the hazards that the window cleaning contractor should review as part of the site assessment:

A. Weather

Professional window cleaning requires you to work outside much of the time. Be aware of things such as extreme temperatures, windy conditions, and inclement weather conditions.

B. Chemicals

Window cleaners may be exposed to a variety of chemicals in the cleaning products they use. Consider what chemicals you will be using and be sure that you are equipped with the necessary information and appropriate PPE.

C. Falls from Heights

Be aware of changes in elevation of walking or working surfaces that are greater than four feet in the work area and which are not protected by a guardrail or structure that is 42 inches or taller. These hazards may include things such as scaffolds, skylights, and different roof levels when working at elevated heights, and things such as retaining walls, balconies, and unprotected holes when working on the ground.

D. Ladders

Be aware of the jobsite conditions under which you will be using a ladder, and be sure that the type of ladder that you are planning to use is appropriate for use under those conditions.

E. Slips, Trips and Falls

Be aware of the conditions of the surfaces on which you will be walking, regardless of whether the surface is elevated or on the ground, and be sure that you are aware of any conditions that could present a slip, trip, or fall hazard.

F. Electrical

Be aware of the presence of exposed outlets, electrical fixtures, and power lines in the work area.

G. Tools & Equipment

Consider the types of tools and equipment that you plan to use, and be sure that they are appropriate for use under the conditions present at the jobsite.

H. Building Occupants, Co-Workers, and the Public

In most types of window cleaning work, occupants, co-workers, or other members of the public may be present at the job site. Be aware of how your work and work area may affect others, and make provisions to protect them from being negatively impacted by your work.

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
    •  

The following are some recognized hazards in a window cleaning operation and the associated PPE that should be used:
  1. Chemical Use: Gloves (rubber or neoprene), glasses or goggles, or respirators may need to be worn when using chemicals. (Refer to manufacturer’s recommendations on the label and the information contained in the SDS to determine appropriate PPE.).
  2. Ladder Use: Work Boots.
  3. Construction Cleaning: Hardhats, work boots, safety glasses, high visibility clothing, and hearing protection.
  4. Fall Hazards: When encountering a change in elevation of a walking or working surface that is greater than 4 feet when the edges of the walking or working surfaces are not protected by a guardrail or structure that is 42 inches or taller, a full body harness (see Figure 1), lanyard and rope grab, and/or self-retracting lanyard may be utilized.

    For more detail on PPE used in fall prevention, see the sections below on Ground Access Equipment and Suspended Access Equipment.

Before using any chemical for window cleaning and stain removal, you must understand the following:

  1. The type of foreign material or residue to be removed
  2. The reaction the chemical will have on the material/residue
  3. The composition of the surface that the material/residue is to be removed from
  4. The affect the chemical may have on the person using it
  • Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on the proper use of any chemical you may use for window cleaning.
  • Read the label of the chemical before using it. Additionally, you must have the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) with you at all times for every chemical you use in the workplace.
  • Always use the proper PPE (e.g., gloves, goggles) as recommended on the label or SDS when using chemicals for window cleaning. Employers must provide any required PPE and train workers how to use it.
  • Danger signs and barricades should be used when using chemicals for window cleaning to protect the public.
  • The application of chemicals should be discontinued if wind speeds or other weather conditions may affect the safety of the worker or public.

Employ the following to mitigate weather-related hazards:

  • Avoid overexposure to high temperatures and the sun. Wear protective clothing such as a hat and sunglasses. Be sure to take breaks from the heat and drink plenty of water. Consider working in shady areas if possible. Refer to the resources on OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Web page, including the OSHA Heat Stress Quick Card and Smart Phone app (available in English and Spanish).
  • Avoid working in windy conditions which may affect your safety or that of those around you. Window cleaning using any of the methods described in this guide book should not take place outdoors when sustained wind speeds exceed 25 miles per hour. Careful consideration should be given when sustained wind speeds are at or above 15 miles per hour.
  • Avoid overexposure to extreme cold. Wear protective clothing such as proper outerwear including hats and gloves. Be sure to take breaks from the extreme cold. Refer to the resources on OSHA’s Winter Weather Web page, including the OSHA Cold Stress QuickCard (available in English and Spanish).

Employ the following to mitigate potential slip, trip, or fall hazards:

  • Always keep your cleaning bucket and tools out of the way of worker and public traffic.
  • Do not leave extension poles or water fed poles extended and unattended.
  • Always remove spilled water from walking surfaces. This may not be possible on some concrete surfaces. Be sure to move or protect any items which may cause you or others to slip or fall or that could be damaged by dripping water.
  • If the wearing of shoe covers is required for performing residential window cleaning, be aware that traction may be reduced when wearing certain types of slip-on covers particularly when climbing ladders. Proper caution should be taken.
  • Prevent spilled water from freezing on walking surfaces and becoming a slip hazard.

Employ the following to mitigate electrical hazards:

  • Keep yourself and your equipment no less than 10 feet away from any electrical lines, supplies or devices.
  • Extension ladders, water fed poles and extension poles should not be extended to a length that would allow them to come within 10 feet of electrical lines, supplies or devices.
  • Have your customer unplug or remove neon or other electric lights around your work area.

Employ the following to mitigate the hazards resulting from the use of razor scrapers:

  • Never used a damaged scraper. (See Figure 3)
  • Be careful when changing scraper blades. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Always wear safety glasses when using a scraper on glass.
  • Never leave your scraper unattended.
  • Replace your scraper cover or close it when it’s not being used.
  • When using a razor scraper, push the blade in one direction and in short motions.

Employ the following to protect building occupations, co-workers, and the public:

  • Notify occupants, co-workers, and others when you are cleaning windows.
  • ·
  • Protect the public from hazards such as falling equipment and slippery surfaces. Use danger signs and barricades when working in or near such areas as entranceways, sidewalks, and inside store areas.
  • ·
  • When performing window cleaning on or around a public entranceway, extreme care shall be taken. Proper danger signs should be in place. If the cleaning process produces excess water, it is your responsibility to remove it immediately and place appropriate danger signs.
  • ·
  • Secure loose tools and equipment that may fall on people below when working at heights.

To protect yourself:

  • Consider wearing high visibility shirts or vests when working around areas with heavy public traffic.
  • Avoid any areas of a job site which have been labeled as dangerous by the building owner or manager until access has been determined safe.

Falls are the top hazard faced by window cleaners. The primary fall hazard faced by ground crews is climbing ladders and using aerial lifts. Crews working on high-rise buildings of course face additional fall hazards.

  • A fall hazard exists when a worker is on a walking or working surface without any edge protection and the walking or working surface is 48 inches or more above a lower level. Edge protection is a structural parapet or guardrail that is a minimum of 42 inches in height. Fall protection is required whenever you are exposed to a fall hazard and should be activated before being exposed.
  • Passive fall protection is a guardrail or parapet or other structural barricade which is 42 inches or taller, that prevents a worker from falling from the work surface.
  • Active fall protection is equipment required when no passive fall protection exists and usually consists of a full body harness, lanyard, rope grab and lifeline or self-retracting lanyard and an anchor point. Workers must be trained in the use of an active fall protection system before using it.
  • Passive or active fall protection is not available when working from a ladder. Always maintain three points of contact and control when working from a ladder.
  • You can reach out to clean a window if no more than your upper body is out of the window and both feet are firmly on the floor.
  • Do not place any body weight on a window or window frame while reaching out to clean.
  • Do not walk or place body weight on any overhead glass in a skylight or atrium. Walking on the framework is acceptable if the strength has been verified. Proper personal fall protection equipment shall be engaged along with appropriate danger signs and barricades.

For more information, see the sections below on Ground Access Equipment and Suspended Access Equipment.

A. Extension and Water-Fed Poles

  • Always inspect your extension and water-fed poles before using to ensure they are in proper working condition.
  • Keep all parts of your extension and water-fed poles a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical lines or devices.
  • Use fall protection when working on roof levels or any area which has fall hazards.
  • Never leave an extension or water-fed pole unattended when it is extended.
  • Use danger signs and barricade to warn the public about the hazard of falling equipment.
  • Monitor and maintain the hoses and lines on the ground to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Take regular work breaks to avoid fatigue when working with water fed poles.
  • STOP using an extension or water-fed pole if wind speeds or other weather conditions may create a hazard to you or the public.

B. Ladders

  • Follow the ladder manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always inspect your ladders before using them. Any damaged or overly worn components shall be removed from service. This includes feet, levelers, rungs and ropes and locks. (See Figure 5)
  • Refer to OSHA resources, including the Ladder Safety QuickCard and the “Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely” booklet (which is available in both English and Spanish.)
  • Use the NIOSH Ladder Safety App on your smart phone to set the ladder at the proper angle before climbing.
  • Make sure the bottom and top of the ladder are level and stable before climbing, and make sure both side rails are supported.
  • Use section or stack ladders according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep all parts of your ladder a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical lines or devices.
  • Wear proper supporting footwear when working on a ladder.
  • Always face the ladder while climbing and keep three points of contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) and control when working from a ladder. (See Figure 6)
  • When ladders are being used on a slick surface or in public traffic, the base of the ladder should be secured.
  • Use danger signs and barricades to warn the public about the hazard of falling equipment.
  • STOP using a ladder if wind speeds or other weather conditions may create a hazard to you or the public.

C. Window Cleaner’s Belts

  • Inspect belts before and after each use. Any damaged or overly worn components shall be removed from service.
  • The building window belt anchors shall be inspected by a qualified person from the building to determine their safe condition before using a window cleaner’s belt.
  • Window cleaner’s belts shall be of the proper size and fit for the worker.
  • When exiting a window, you should attach a terminal to an anchor first. Upon re-entering the window a terminal should remain attached to an anchor until you are safely inside.
  • No employee shall work on a window sill or ledge on which there is snow, ice or any other slippery condition, or on a sill or ledge that is weakened or rotted.
  • Crossing over from window to window is acceptable only if the window sills provide ample footing (minimum 4 inches wide) and the distance between anchors is no more than one of your arm's reach (less than 4 feet) with at least one terminal attached at all times.
  • When performing belt work over public areas, proper danger signs and barricades should be in place. Secure your window cleaning tools to prevent them from falling.

D. Aerial Work Platforms/Manlifts/Bucket Trucks

  • An Aerial Work Platform (AWP) shall be inspected before being used. All components and functions shall be in proper working order. Any damaged or overly worn or non-functioning operations shall be reported and the AWP shall not be used until repaired.
  • You should be trained by the manufacturer or their representative before using any AWP. Certification of training may be required.
  • The rated load for the lift should not be exceeded.
  • The lift should not be used unless the appropriate outriggers and intermediate stabilizers are in place.
  • The lift should be leveled before using. If working on a sloped surface the wheels must be turned on a right angle towards the slope.
  • Proper fall protection equipment shall be used when working from an AWP.
  • Makeshift devices or ladders should not be used to gain more height out of the basket.
  • Keep all parts of the AWP a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical lines or devices
  • Use danger signs and barricades to warn the public about the hazard of falling equipment.
  • STOP using an Aerial Work Platform if wind speeds or other weather conditions may create a hazard to you or the public.

E. Tower/Rolling Scaffold

  • A tower or rolling scaffold shall be inspected before being used. All components shall be in proper working order. Any damaged or overly worn components shall be removed from service.
  • Proper fall protection equipment shall be used when working from a tower or rolling scaffold.
  • Scaffolding should not be erected on an unstable surface in order to gain more height.
  • The height of the scaffold should not exceed 4 times the minimum base width. If the height must be raised the scaffolding should be tied in to the workface at 25 foot intervals. The tie-ins should start at the point where the height exceeds 4 times the minimum base width.
  • Scaffolding towers shall be erected under the direct supervision of a qualified person and shall be inspected by a competent person before being used.
  • Scaffolding should not be moved while a worker is on it. The force to move the scaffold should be applied as close to the bottom as possible.
  • Makeshift devices or ladders should not be used to gain more height out of the scaffold.
  • Keep all parts of the tower or rolling scaffold a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical lines or devices
  • Use danger signs and barricades to warn the public about the hazard of falling equipment.
  • STOP using a tower or rolling scaffold if wind speeds or other weather conditions may create a hazard to you or the public.

A. Two/Four Point Suspended Scaffolding (Swingstage)

  • All components of suspended scaffolding and personal fall protection systems should be inspected before and after each use. Any damaged or excessively worn components should be reported immediately and taken out of service until repairs or replacements are made.
  • If the suspended scaffolding and personal fall protection systems are permanently installed on a building, the building is responsible to ensure all components have been inspected and maintained in accordance with OSHA CFR 1910.66.
  • All workers using suspended scaffolding shall be thoroughly trained in its correct use. The Scaffold Access Industry Association (SAIA) is a premier source for training.
  • If the suspended scaffolding is permanently installed on a building, the manufacturer or their representative is required to provide training.
  • Fall protection equipment shall be engaged at all times when workers are exposed to a fall hazard.
  • All transportable (non-permanent) rigging equipment must be rigged to provide a minimum support factor of 4 to 1 against the maximum hoist load and be secured by tying back to a sound anchorage point with a maximum load of 5000 lbs.
  • The number of J-clamps on each support cable shall be at least 3 and spaced evenly. They should be checked regularly. U-clamps should not be used.
  • The spacing of suspension points and lines are important. The distance from motor to motor and motors to the workface should be in line and parallel.
  • Suspended scaffolding shall not be loaded beyond the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • When operating transportable (non-permanent) suspended scaffolding, workers shall use a personal fall protection system. It should consist of a body harness, shock absorbing lanyard, and rope grab and lifeline anchored independently from the scaffolding supports.
  • This fall protection system should be engaged at all times while on the scaffolding. The rope grab should be maintained at shoulder height on the lifeline.
  • Vertical hanging lifelines shall be long enough to reach grade and should be padded wherever contact with the workface may cause abrasion.
  • Knots should only be used in lines designed to accept the stress of a knot. Knots should be checked regularly to ensure that they are secure.
  • When vertical hanging lifelines are used, workers shall be trained in self rescue or partner rescue techniques. See Figure 9.
  • Where permanently installed powered platforms use a four-cable suspension system and vertical hanging lifelines are not required; workers shall wear a full body harness with lanyard attachment to the designated anchor on the platform.
  • All electrical lines should be padded wherever contact with the building surface may cause abrasion. Electricity should be disconnected when not in use.
  • The control lever of any motor should never be tied back during operations.
  • The scaffolding should not remain suspended when not in use.
  • Extreme caution should be taken when using suspended scaffolding around electrical lines or devices. All components of the system shall maintain a minimum safe distance of 10 feet from electrical lines or devices.
  • Before, during and after the operation of a suspended scaffold, proper danger signs and barricades should be in place. All window cleaning tools should be secured either to the scaffolding or the worker.
  • The use of suspended scaffolding should be discontinued if wind speeds or other weather conditions may create a hazard to you or the public. Permanently installed powered platforms dedicated to a building shall not be used when wind speeds may exceed 25 miles per hour.

B. Rope Descent Systems

  • All components of rope descent systems and personal fall protection systems should be inspected before and after each use. Any damaged or excessively worn components should be reported immediately and taken out of service until repairs or replacements are made.
  • Anyone using a rope descent system shall be thoroughly trained in the use of the system, vertical rope self and partner rescue techniques. The International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) is the premier source for training.
  • Anyone using a rope descent system shall have available at the jobsite at least one other co-worker equally proficient in the use of the system and rescue techniques.
  • When performing descents over 130 feet, there should be additional safety monitoring of the worker or workers either from the ground or on the roof.
  • Rope descent systems should not be used on heights greater than 300 feet (91m) above grade unless the employer demonstrates that it is not feasible to access such heights by any other means or that those means pose a greater hazard than using a rope descent system.
  • Fall protection equipment shall be engaged at all times when workers are exposed to a fall hazard.
  • Before any rope descent system is used, the building owner or manager must inform your employer in writing that the building has identified, tested, certified and maintained each anchor point being used.
  • Only one line may be attached to an anchorage point at any time unless the anchorage point has been specifically designed for more than one line.
  • The anchorage points for descent lines or lifelines shall have a maximum capacity of 5000 lbs. and shall be verified by a qualified person and inspected annually.
  • While using a rope descent system the worker must use a personal fall protection system. It should consist of a full body harness, lanyard, rope grab and a lifeline anchored independently of the primary descending line. The system must remain engaged at all times during the descent.
  • All lines should be padded wherever building contact may cause abrasion.
  • Portable support (rigging) devices shall be assembled according to the manufacturer’s specifications. All counter weighted devices should provide a 4 to 1 ratio against the suspended worker. Counterweights shall be secured to the device. Any portable support device must be tied back to a sound anchorage in line with the suspended worker.
  • A portable support (rigging) device which uses the parapet wall as an anchorage for support is acceptable only if the maximum capacity of the parapet has been verified by a qualified person.
  • Anchorage of the life line should be independent of any portable support device and in line with the suspended worker.
  • Exposure of descent lines or lifelines to extreme heat or cold, chemicals or other abuse should be avoided.
  • All components of a rope descent system should be stored properly to prevent them from damage. Rope should be stored in a cool, dark, dry and clean area.
  • Extreme caution should be taken when using rope descent systems around electrical lines or devices. All components of the system shall maintain a minimum safe distance of 10 feet from electrical lines or devices.
  • Before, during and after the operation of a rope descent system, proper danger signs and barricades should be in place. All window cleaning tools should be secured to prevent falling.
  • The use of rope descent systems should be discontinued if wind speeds or other weather conditions may create a hazard to you or the public.

C. Permanently Installed Powered Platforms

A permanently installed powered platform is a suspended scaffold that has been engineered and designed and built to remain on the building on which it has been installed. Most of the guidelines in the swing stage section of this manual apply. In addition, further measures shall be taken where applicable.

There are two types of permanently installed powered platforms.

  1. Platform Powered: the hoist motors and wire rope winders are on the platform itself. (See Figure 12)
  2. Roof Powered: the hoist motors and wire rope winders are on the roof, not the platform. (See Figure 13)
  • Before using a permanent installation, it must be inspected and its safe working condition shall be verified by the building owner, manager or a qualified person.
  • It is critical that there is a working means of communication from the platform to the building in the event of a malfunction or emergency.
  • The building owner or manager is required to provide you with proper training in the use of the system prior to being used.
  • Workers must engage their fall protection equipment immediately upon entering the platform and it shall remain engaged at all time when the platform is in use.
  • The stabilization system shall be engaged at its first point when the platform is outboard and descending the workface.
  • If you are working from a platform powered unit, carefully monitor the wire rope winders while traveling up and down the workface.
  • Davit arms shall be transported, raised and lowered by two or more workers. Mechanical means are recommended.
  • Permanent installations should not be used when wind speeds exceed 25mph or other weather conditions may affect the safety of the workers or public.
  • When working on or around any public areas, all window cleaning tools should be secured to prevent them from falling.
  • Before, during and after operating a permanent installation proper danger signs and barricades should be in place.

D. Rescue

  • Your employer is required to ensure you are able to perform a self-rescue or have a designated means to be rescued in the event of an emergency situation.
  • Your employer must have a rescue plan in place. Although your employer may provide devices that allow workers to rescue themselves, the rescue plan still needs to provide for appropriate rescue personnel and equipment because self-rescue may not be possible in some situations. (worker is unconscious or seriously injured)
  • An emergency situation when using suspended access equipment would be the failure of the primary means of suspension and workers have activated their fall arrest system (e.g., full body harness, lanyard and rope grab).
  • It is recommended that a full body harness with a rear middle back and upper front middle chest or waist lanyard attached be used. This type of harness is more effective for self and partner rescue operations.
  • Lanyard lengths should not exceed 4 feet when they are attached to the upper middle back and 24 inches when attached to the upper middle chest.
  • Harness trauma will occur during a fall arrest situation. If the lanyard connection is to the upper middle back, trauma will occur in 30 to 40 minutes. A worker strain relief strap may be used, or you should be trained to tie an overhand loop knot into your safety line so that you can step into it to relieve harness strain.
  • It is recommended workers using suspended access equipment be trained in partner rescue.
  • A rescue kit should be used wherever and whenever workers are using suspended access equipment and have been trained in partner rescue. The rescue kit includes a 5000lb or more tensile strength rope which is as long as the height of the building, two locking D rings (carabiners) and a rope descending device.
  • Training in self and partner rescue may be provided by qualified individuals or trade associations that provide education in rope access techniques like the International Window Cleaning Association. (See Figure 14)

  • It is recommended that at least one person at every active jobsite be trained in basic first aid.
  • Identify all entranceways and means of exit or evacuation of the building or residence you are working on.
  • Follow any and all instructions provided by a building for evacuation or emergency situations.
  • Weather conditions shall be monitored at all times during active window cleaning operations to ensure the safety of workers and the public.
  • If working in earthquake prone areas, an emergency plan should be included in your work plan.

More workers area killed every year in motor vehicle crashes than any other cause. Distracted driving kills thousands of people every year.

Practice safe driving at all times. Do not browse apps, talk or text on your cell phone while driving. Use automated voice navigation systems when available. Avoid other distractions when driving.

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