The ANSI/IWCA I-14 is an American National Standard published in 2001. The intent of the I-14 Standard is to improve the level of safety in the window cleaning industry. The 1-14 Standard provides safety guidelines that benefit building owners, managers and contractors. Safety in the workplace is a shared responsibility; by following the voluntary I-14 Standard, both lives and assets are protected. .
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration references the I-14 Standard in violations by window cleaning contractors of the OSHA Section 5(a) 1- General Duty Clause. In these citations, OSHA states that the violations could have been remedied if the contractor were following the requirements of the I-14 Standard.
The nature of the citations range from contractors needing to upgrade their equipment, improve their safety training and providing a written work plan to working with the building owner or manager with re-assessing the safety of the facility.
In a more significant case study, the I-14 Standard helped to eliminate the liability of a property manager after an accident occurred.
During the summer of 2005 in Massachusetts, a window cleaning company had scheduled the cleaning of a six story building’s windows a few weeks after they had submitted their work plan to the property management company. Part of that work plan included the documentation provided by the property management company which assured the window cleaner that the building had a certified roof anchor system and the system was recently inspected. The work plan also showed a diagram of the system and included documents verifying the window cleaners that would be on site were trained in the use of the equipment.
The crew arrived at the site and the supervisor went over the system one more time using the roof anchor layout posted on the roof door. The supervisor then left. The window cleaners then made the decision to not follow the plan by having one worker suspend from the portable rigging device and the other was going to push the device back and forth on the roof. The workers did not tie the device back nor did they use the anchors for safety line attachment. There was no parapet wall and as a result, the rig was pushed off the roof. One worker was killed and the other sustained permanent injuries.
In the federally filed lawsuit that followed, the attorneys for the workers claimed the building owner was negligent because they did not do enough to protect the workers from having the accident. The judge reviewed the case and dismissed the building owner because it was proven they did all they could and in accordance with the American National Standard for Window Cleaning Safety.
If you are a property professional and member of an organization that would like a presentation or more information on the subject of compliance with the ANSI-IWCA I14.1 Safety Standard, please contact our headquarters.
After reviewing the new I-14.1 Window Cleaning Safety Standard, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International applauded the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) for its commitment to finalizing a project that was five years in the making and ultimately won the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
"We joined the IWCA I-14.1 Committee in November 1999 to support and develop a consistent and comprehensive national safety standard for window cleaning operations," said BOMA President Sherwood Johnston, III. "As a member of the committee, BOMA sought to address safety in a manner that was fair, reasonable, achievable and cost effective, and in which safety regulations were based on reliable data and not marketing forces. I believe we've accomplished that through the approval of this window cleaning safety standard."
BOMA and IWCA realize that each respective organization represents one of the two parties which are most affected by the I-14.1 Standard. This fact helped to define shared responsibilities for window cleaning safety by contractors and property managers.
Why you should hire an IWCA Safety Certified Window Cleaner
The International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) Safety Certification program provides education to help window cleaners work safer by training them in accordance with the safe work practices identified in the IWCA/ANSI I-14 Safety Standard.
As part of the IWCA Safety Certification program, window cleaners study all facets of window cleaning safe practices and equipment. They then must pass three preparatory exams, followed by a final in-person proctored exam. Upon passing the final exam, they will be recognized as being IWCA Safety Certified for five years before being required to renew their certification.
When you are contracting professional window cleaning services, choose one with the training needed to apply best practices and safe use of equipment at your building to protect you, your tenants, and the public.
Purchase a copy of the I-14 Window Cleaning Safety Standard