February 12, 2021
In 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published revised
regulations for Walking and Working Surfaces in General Industry. As it pertains to
professional window cleaning and building maintenance contractors, those regulations
contained safety requirements for employers and employees with regards to fall
protection systems and methods, falling object protection, ladders (fixed and
transportable), scaffolds, Rope Descent Systems (RDS) and training and education.
In order to continue to fulfill our mission statement by promoting the success of
members and the industry through standards of safety, education, advocacy and
research, the IWCA along with industry experts, equipment manufacturers, professional
safety trainers and the building management community; agree that a more
comprehensive safety and training guideline is needed above the ones in the OSHA
Therefore, the IWCA is pleased to release the General Industry Safety Standard which
identifies accepted Safe Practices for Rope Descent Systems.
This standard includes detailed and comprehensive requirements for worker training,
evaluation, and certification as well as the shared responsibilities for building owners
and managers, when this type of equipment is used.
The IWCA shall be providing certification of RDS operators and to do so,
the IWCA and all their training affiliates shall be revising their Safety and Training
Programs to recognize and include these safe practices. Furthermore, the IWCA will be
updating the online testing to coincide with the authorized technician and certified
technician categories as defined in this new Standard.
Please continue to check back regularly at IWCA.org