One of the most important steps to keeping workers safe on the job is to perform a site assessment before starting work at a site. The site assessment should identify the safety and health hazards workers may encounter at a particular location. A sample job site evaluation and work plan can be found on the IWCA website.
This section identifies the major workplace hazards faced by window cleaning workers that should be evaluated as part of the site assessment. See the following sections for how to address those hazards.
The following are some of the hazards that the window cleaning contractor should review as part of the site assessment:
Professional window cleaning requires you to work outside much of the time. Be aware of things such as extreme temperatures, windy conditions, and inclement weather conditions.
Window cleaners may be exposed to a variety of chemicals in the cleaning products they use. Consider what chemicals you will be using and be sure that you are equipped with the necessary information and appropriate PPE.
C. Falls from Heights
Be aware of changes in elevation of walking or working surfaces that are greater than four feet in the work area and which are not protected by a guardrail or structure that is 42 inches or taller. These hazards may include things such as scaffolds, skylights, and different roof levels when working at elevated heights, and things such as retaining walls, balconies, and unprotected holes when working on the ground.
Be aware of the jobsite conditions under which you will be using a ladder, and be sure that the type of ladder that you are planning to use is appropriate for use under those conditions.
E. Slips, Trips and Falls
Be aware of the conditions of the surfaces on which you will be walking, regardless of whether the surface is elevated or on the ground, and be sure that you are aware of any conditions that could present a slip, trip, or fall hazard.
Be aware of the presence of exposed outlets, electrical fixtures, and power lines in the work area.
G. Tools & Equipment
Consider the types of tools and equipment that you plan to use, and be sure that they are appropriate for use under the conditions present at the jobsite.
H. Building Occupants, Co-Workers, and the Public
In most types of window cleaning work, occupants, co-workers, or other members of the public may be present at the job site. Be aware of how your work and work area may affect others, and make provisions to protect them from being negatively impacted by your work.