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United States Codes & Regulations

“Building owners and window cleaning contractors shall not allow suspended work to be performed unless it has been determined that the building has provided, identified and certified anchorages.” (ANSI/IWCA I-14.1 2001 Window Cleaning Safety Standard)

American National Standards Institute/International Window Cleaning Association ANSI/IWCA I-14.1- 2001

ANSI/IWCA was written to identify accepted safe practices and building requirements for window cleaning. It provides everyone with a clearer guideline as to whether building owners and/or their operating agents have provided window cleaning contractors with assurance that window cleaning installations or anchorages have been designed, installed, inspected and maintained in compliance with the ANSI/IWCA I-14.1 standard.

Important points:
- All buildings 3 stories and higher require tie-back and lifeline anchors when work is being performed from the roof using a bosun’s chair or suspended platform.
- That the installation or structure has been inspected, tested and maintained in compliance with the requirements.
- That all equipment dedicated to the building meets the requirements.
- That specific load ratings, intended use and limitations for fixtures permanently dedicated to the buildings (are communicated).
- Manufactures instructions for installation, anchorages and fixtures permanently dedicated to the building (are available).

To obtain your own copy of ANSI/IWCA I.14.1, Click here.

NY Department of Labor Code Rule 21 (Protection of Persons Employed at Window Cleaning – Structural Requirements, Equipment and Procedures)

Important Points:
The owner or manager of every public building and every contractor involved shall provide the safe means for the cleaning of the windows and the exterior surfaces. They shall not require, permit or allow any window or exterior surface of such building to be cleaned unless such means are provided to enable such work to be done in a safe manner for the prevention of accidents and for the protection of the public and of persons engaged in such work.

To obtain your own copy of New York Code Rule 21, Click here.

Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

OSHA will enforce the issue of fall protection using the General Industry and Duty clause Sec. 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Important Points:
OSHA will support that enforcement by citing fall protection requirements using any one of the variety of labor standards contained in CFR 29 relating to fall arrest equipment.

To obtain your own copy of OSHA, Click here.

CAL-OSHA Standard

Every building constructed 3 stories or 36’-0” or more in height shall have eyebolts or other permanent devices installed at roof level for the purpose of securing or tying back suspended scaffold hooks or clamps and safety lines.

Important Points:
- Roof tie-backs or other approved independent anchorages shall be provided for each support line(s) and each safety line.
- Each support line(s) and each safety line shall be connected to approved independent anchorages.

To obtain your own copy of CAL-OSHA, Click here.

ASME A120.1-2008 (Safety Requirements for Powered Platforms and Traveling Ladders and Gantries for Building Maintenance)

This standard provides for the safe design of powered platforms for building maintenance, where window cleaning and related services are accomplished by means of suspended equipment at heights in excess of 35 ft (11 m) above a surface, e.g., grade, street, floor or roof level.

Important Points:
- the standard requires that permanently installed or transportable equipment be properly designed by a qualified professional engineer, taking into account specific building features.
- Care has been taken so as not to exclude or render obsolete any existing product or equipment.

To obtain your own copy of AMSE A120.1-2008, Click here.


States that are covered by BOCA national codes require safeguards for window cleaning. Most mid-rise and high-rise buildings are not equipped with true operable windows for window cleaning.

Important Points:
- All buildings and structures over 50 feet (15 m) or four stories in height in which the windows are cleaned from the outside, shall be provided with anchors, belt terminals or other approved safety devices for all window openings.

To obtain your own copy of BOCA, Click here.

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