Tech Talk Blog

Does OSHA Require Anchorages for All Suspended Window Washing Applications?

Much confusion exists over the OSHA regulations pertaining to Rope Descent Systems (RDS) and Industrial Rope Access Systems (IRAS) used for high rise façade maintenance and window washing applications.  OSHA’s recently updated 1910 Subpart D standard includes specific language to ensure window washing safety when rope descent systems are used and requires the building owner to provide written assurances to the window washing contractor as outlined in 1910.27(b).

These assurances document the capacity of the anchorage system used to support window washing operations and safeguard employees working at height.  But because the new OSHA regulations speak specifically to the certified anchorage requirement for rope descent systems while making clear these provisions do not apply to industrial rope access or suspended scaffolds, what are the responsibilities of building owners when a window washing application requires an alternative means of suspended access?

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Did You Know?

All guardrail that is protecting an opening or leading edge must be able to support 200 pounds on the top rail and 150 pounds on the midrail in any direction?