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Window Cleaning Field Safety Guidlines
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.
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.