High Rise Commercial Window Washing: Understanding Safety & Controlling Liability

4 Minutes Read

High Rise Commercial Window Washing: Understanding Safety & Controlling Liability

While it may seem daunting to learn about another industry, familiarizing yourself with high-rise window washing safety standards will help you ensure that the window cleaning process for your building is conducted with utmost safety and compliance with industry regulations. 

Understanding window washing safety standards is especially vital when choosing a provider to work with. By partnering with a window cleaning company that maintains the most rigorous safety and training certifications, you can have confidence in the expertise and professionalism of your service provider and put yourself and your company in a better position to avoid potential liability issues. 

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a High-Rise Window Cleaner?

The responsibilities of a high-rise commercial window cleaner include a range of specialized tasks to ensure the cleanliness of windows in tall buildings while also maintaining industry safety standards.

First and foremost, their primary responsibility is to clean the exterior surfaces of windows on structures over seven stories high using equipment such as scaffolding, suspended platforms, or rope access. The cleaning process includes removing dirt, grime, streaks, and other contaminants that may accumulate on the glass, such as pollen, bugs, and bird droppings. 

High-rise window cleaners will inspect windows for damage or defects and report any findings to the property manager or facility manager. 

Is Cleaning Skyscraper Windows Safe?

Dangling hundreds of feet in the air is not for the faint of heart, but for any reputable high-rise window-cleaning company, safety is paramount. Yes, the job is inherently dangerous, so high-rise window washers must adhere to strict safety protocols such as adequately maintaining and wearing appropriate protective gear, securing their equipment correctly, and following proper rigging procedures. When window washers are correctly trained, well-focused, and abiding by safety protocol, the answer is yes, window washing is generally safe.  


What Safety Equipment is Needed for High-Rise Window Cleaning?

It is critically important to have — and use — all the latest innovations in safety equipment and procedures to safely navigate a building’s exterior. Which tools a cleaner uses generally depends on their suspension method. 

In some cases, high-rise window washers may use a movable platform or a Bosun’s chair to move along the exterior of a building. While fixed scaffolds can be helpful for shorter buildings, a high-rise window cleaning platform allows window washers to access higher windows safely. Platforms may be moved manually or by an electric motor. 

Another option is a Bosun’s chair, a one-person-sized platform that the window washer can sit on as they move from window to window. Bosun’s chairs often feature hooks and attachments for carrying tools such as buckets and squeegees, making them quickly and safely accessible to the washer. 

High-rise window washers will also wear a safety harness attached to the building to prevent them from falling should their platform or seat fail. 

Rope Access Training

Working on ropes comes with inherent dangers, so the industry strongly emphasizes rope access safety requirements and training. It’s crucial to prioritize safety in this line of work. 

In rope access, various types of equipment are used to ensure safety and protect workers while on the job. For high-rise window cleaning, two standard techniques are Rope Descent Systems (RDS) and Industrial Rope Access (IRA). 

Here’s where Red Rock Property Services stands out in the Las Vegas Valley. We operate under Industrial Rope Access standards, which means we go the extra mile regarding safety. We have a wide range of safety equipment, all of our window washers undergo comprehensive training, and we have horizontal and vertical mobility capabilities, allowing us to get the job done faster. Our commitment to safety ensures we can confidently and securely handle all your high-rise window cleaning needs. 


What Type of Certification Should Window Cleaning Crews Maintain?

Window cleaning crew members should have several critical safety certifications and meet specific training requirements before work begins safely. 

Red Rock Property Services’ commercial window cleaners are trained and experienced in Rope Access, Practical Rigging Safety, and Fall Protection and follow the ANSI/IWCA 1-14.1 OSHA safety standard for the window cleaning industry. Now let’s dig a little deeper into what each of these training and certifications entails. 

IWCA Certification

The IWCA Safety Certification Program comprises five training focuses that keep window washers safe: Route/Residential, Commercial Ground, Rope Descent Systems, Suspended Scaffold, and High Rise Specialist. In order to receive certification, window washers must complete all the courses, which teach about the safe use of essential window cleaning equipment and chemicals and the safe completion of more complicated and hazardous high-rise cleaning services. This certification and training help to ensure the safety of workers, occupants, and street-level passersby when window-washing high-rise buildings.

OSHA 1910 Training

For any team member whose job requires working in an area with a higher risk of falls, the employer must provide proper professional training and safety certifications for each employee before work begins. Certifications cover the use of equipment, proper inspection and maintenance, utilization of PPE and safety equipment, hazard identification and mitigation, and proper safety reporting protocols. All high-rise window washers must have this training and certification(s).

SPRAT Certification

The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) are internationally recognized standards for rope-related work and safety protocols. In order to earn this certification window washers must complete a 4-day course and pass written and hands-on tests. The grading parameters for both tests constitute a simple pass or fail. Failure to pass the building window washer tests means no certification is issued, and the window washer must retake the course.

Comprehending and Controlling Liability

To protect against potential risks during your building’s window cleaning, partnering with a window washing company with comprehensive insurance coverage is essential. This should include general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. General liability insurance safeguards against property damage or injuries that may occur during the cleaning process, while workers’ compensation insurance covers any injuries sustained by the window cleaners themselves. By verifying that the cleaning company has adequate insurance coverage, you can effectively manage your liability and avoid potential financial burdens in the event of accidents or mishaps. 


Looking for the Safest High-Rise Window Washing Services in Las Vegas? Look No Further!

At Red Rock Property Services, we prioritize safety and service to give you the best window cleaning experience. Our team is trained, certified, and equipped to handle the challenges of high-rise window cleaning with the utmost care and expertise. 

Don’t compromise when it comes to the well-being of your property and occupants. Reach out to us today for a quote and discover why we are the trusted choice for safe and reliable high-rise window washing. Let us take care of your windows while you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with working with the best in the industry. 


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