IWCA: A Historical Perspective
I didn't start working in the
window-cleaning industry until eight years into my professional business
career. As a result, I didn't have the opportunity to be involved in
the formation of the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA)
in 1989. Since those early days, the IWCA has continually worked to
educate window cleaners, building owners, building managers and
regulatory agencies toward creating and maintaining safer workplaces in
the window-cleaning industry.
When I did finally join this profession, I was fortunate enough to be hired by Valcourt Building Services
(McLean, Va.). Its partners, Jeff Valcourt
and Jon Capon
were intimately involved in IWCA's history, and they have shared
details of it with me over the years. But there's a big difference
between hearing about our history and being a part of it.
During a conversation a couple of years ago with Noa Pederson
a current IWCA board of director member, he suggested we should
document our association's history. Noa believed others would have a
better appreciation for how hard our past presidents, board members and
many others have worked to create and develop the IWCA if they
understood its past. Following up on that talk with Noa, I recently
asked Safety Director Stefan Bright
to write about the creation of the IWCA and the ANSI/IWCA I-14 Window-Cleaning Safety Standard
—a document that has become infinitely influential on our industry.