IWCA Request/Clarification Statement from The White House on “Essential”

*The IWCA recommends as a company, you make the best decision you can for your employees, yourself, and the public’s health. Checking with legal and your state on your own for clarification of essential is important besides just hearing from us. We do not believe, even if deemed “Essential”, you should keep working if you have not trained your employees on the risks, put proper safety measures in place, provided the proper PPE and procedures to protect the public, the employee, or yourself form contracting the virus or spreading it. You should also let the business or residence make the decision to have you continue cleaning or not as well.


IWCA Statement to the Department of Labor for Sick Leave Exemptions for all cleaning companies throughout the country – DOL Letter IWCA Members Exemptions Under 50 FFCRA


Update on our IWCA White House Clarification Letter



The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:


Thank you for your massive effort to protect the American people and overcome the pandemic crisis. We truly appreciate the decisions made and path being followed to protect our society, our people, and our economy.


The International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) is now in its 31st year of existence. Our Association was formed as professional window cleaners across the country and internationally came together to educate our industry, keep our workers safe, and protect them from falls from heights.  Over the years, our efforts have reduced falls significantly in our industry and deaths have dwindled to zero. These results are due largely in part to our working relationship with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which includes an OSHA Alliance and Ambassadorship; both of which we are incredibly proud of and thankful for.


Our communities and states are starting to shut down as we overcome this pandemic together. We truly appreciate being able to band together to stop this invisible enemy. As an Association dedicated to the safety and health of people in our industry, our Board of Directors and member companies are completely committed to this as well. We believe this is in the best interest of the American people and the best way to slow this infection down so we can all get back to work as soon as possible.


We strongly believe our services are a valuable part of combating and slowing down the spread of this disease. According to the Journal of Hospital Infections we understand that the survival time on glass surfaces for this virus has been shown by to be between 4-5 days. This amount of time without cleaning and disinfecting the surface of glass and windows can increase the spread and prolong the time we spend in quarantine while following “stay at home” orders in our communities. We also believe any type of cleaning is critically needed to reduce overall health issues and to aid in strengthening immune systems during this time. In addition, many of our companies provide exterior façade cleaning, power washing, and soft washing services to increase the benefit of our cleaning services to combat this virus. We believe the additional services should also be considered, “Essential”. Together the services have the greatest impact to reduce the spread of the virus.


The professionals in our industry have the means of being part of the solution and feel it is our responsibility, nay, our duty, to help protect our citizens and our communities.


Based on our belief, we are asking for a clarification statement from the Office of the President to our states and communities around the country to include window and building cleaning services as an “essential” business during this time of crisis.


We believe window and building cleaning should be an essential part of sanitation efforts around the country and it should be a cleaning service the White House and our Government recommends to commercial buildings, residential buildings, and businesses while they are open; or while closed and prior to re-opening.


Thank you for your attention to this issue as a way to increase the protection from infection in residential homes, commercial facilities, and high rise buildings in our country.




Paul Collum – IWCA President


CC:       The Honorable Chad F. Wolf

Acting Secretary – Department of Homeland Security


The Honorable Alex M. Azar II

Secretary – Department of Health and Human Services


The Honorable Elaine Chao

Secretary – Department of Transportation



IWCA – International Window Cleaning Association

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