Fall Protection For Window Cleaners

Working at heights as a window cleaner increases your vulnerability to falls. Such falls can be life-threatening or make you sustain temporary or permanent injuries or disfigurement.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put a safety standard in place to ensure window cleaners’ safety while at work.

The following can protect you against such workplace accident:


Training is crucial to your safety as a window cleaner. Your training should cover how to use scaffolding and other window cleaning tools effectively. The training will also help you to master fall protection and management techniques.  

As you have a better grasp of your working tools and potential dangers and how to avoid them, your risk levels are reduced.


Aside from scaffolding, OSHA recommends that window cleaners should use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as work boots, gloves, shock-absorbing lanyard, full-body harness, and anchorage points.

Glasses, hard hats, goggles, hearing protection equipment, and high visibility clothing are other necessary working equipment that will boost your work security.

According to the agency, every cleaning agency must provide personal fall arrest systems for its employees. The systems are designed for workers who are at the risk of falling from over six feet.

The system’s aid will limit their maximum arresting force to 1,800 pounds. The limited force prevents cleaners from free-falling beyond six feet during an accidental fall. The protective measure guards them against sustaining severe and permanent injuries or even death.

If you use these pieces of equipment together with fall protection equipment specially designed for the cleaning industry, you will be safer at work.


Before you embark on a window cleaning job, conduct a thorough inspection of the working site first. The inspection will allow you to identify potential safety-compromising issues and situations. During the inspection, take note of the following:

The structure: The structure of a building you are working on may undermine your safety. Hence, prioritize your safety by looking out for potential obstacles such as balconies and other parts of the structure that may make window cleaning challenging and risky. If these obstacles will compromise your safety, find a way around them.

Prevailing weather condition: The working condition may make or mar your security efforts. Thus, checking the weather plays a significant role in your security. If you work under a bad weather condition such as heavy rain or wind, especially when cleaning the outside, you run the risk of falling from whatever climbing tool you use.

Working tools: Inspect your working tools. If you identify some issues during the inspection, fix them immediately. Keep your work tools in the best condition  too. Working with poorly-maintained tools is an invitation to disaster.

The inspection will help you choose the most appropriate tools for the job. For instance, a ladder may do the job while working on ground work. Scaffolding is a good choice for suspended work on tall buildings.

The building: Check the structure for any sign of weakness. If the building is old and weak, you may be taking a massive risk if you take up the cleaning job.

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