Note: OSHA is targeting commercial buildings to enforce sweeping regulations aimed at façade access requirements.

In 2001 the American National Standards Institute approved the ANSI/IWCA I-14 Window Cleaning Safety Standard. This standard was formulated in conjunction with BOMA and OSHA. ANSI/IWCA I-14 applies to all window cleaning operations performed at a height greater than 48”.

OSHA enforcement is increasing. Compliance with ANSI/IWCA I-14 is a necessary process to be employed in order to prevent fines and accidents.

What does ANSI/IWCA I-14 mean to property professionals?

  1. Permanent window cleaning equipment installed on buildings needs to be inspected and maintained by the building owner. This applies to safety or main line anchors as well as powered platforms.
  2. A copy of the maintenance records and inspection documents must be provided to the window cleaning contractor prior to the equipment being used.
  3. All applicable information from the mangers of the devices, including load ratings, intended use and limitations and instructions will also be needed to be supplied to the window cleaning contractor.
  4. Note that if the window cleaning contractor uses their own transportable equipment that requires tie back anchorages or uses parts of the building for support, the areas of the building where the equipment is attached must be inspected to verify that it will hold the equipment and loads. A copy of this inspection and/or verification must be given to the window cleaning contractor prior to services being performed. Structural or civil engineers may be needed for this type of inspection and verification.

Responsibilities of the window cleaning contractor

  1. Window cleaning contractors should develop a “Plan of Service” for each jobsite. View a blank example of a Plan of Service here: Hercules Window Cleaning Plan of Service
  2. The Plan of Service should be submitted to the building owner or manager and be readily available during the performance of the window cleaning services.
  3. The intent of the Plan of Service is to communicate when windows are to be cleaned in areas where workers may utilize suspended equipment. It should also specify how each workers independent fall protection tieback should be placed for each individual descent, include the identification of hazardous areas, outline safety features, describe hazardous chemical use and identify areas requiring public protection.