Tribute: April 1991 Safety and Training Committee Report

This issue of Safety in My Biz pays tribute to the IWCA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the upcoming IWCA Convention to be held in Savannah, GA in January 2020. The efforts of Stefan Bright thru the years as Safety Director for the IWCA. Thru the years there have been topics that have needed attention and not everyone agreed on how they would be handled but the accomplishments have been noteworthy. We recently obtained a copy of the very first Safety and Training Committee Report given to the IWCA.

The goal of this committee is to eventually provide all members and possibly non-members, with a guide for window cleaning safety. Also some sort of training manual should be provided. These are two key elements which may help window cleaners nationally in reducing the human error factor.

My original thought was to provide the manuals to our members at a cost and also making them available to non-members at a nominally higher cost, with the hopes of possibly recruiting these non-members.

To date, I have not yet assembled the committee, however I have spoken to some members who have shown interest, I am waiting for the results of the survey taken at the 1991 Convention in San Diego, to see if any other members wish to become involved.

Once this committee has been formed and the guidelines produced, I envision the use of safety seminars thruout the year in order to educate the masses.

At this time, I can estimate a time period of at least one year until the production of these guidelines can get under way. There are several reasons. One of the main reasons is Federal Offices are currently investigating some of the methods we use and we certainly do not want to print anything contradictory. Another reason is the fact that some of the codes and standards which are presently available, are not easily understood and sometimes even mis-understood by window cleaners.

Fortunately, the Codes and Standards Committee Chairman has agreed to work with me to help clear up some of these misconceptions.

Right now, until this committee has officially been formed, I have undertaken a fact finding mission. I have contacted members of the IWCA, the SIA, Canada’s Ministries of Labor, and several Window Cleaners Unions, and have requested they provide me with any safety programs or guidelines which they are using. I am also in contact with numerous manufacturers of window cleaning equipment in order to examine specifications and recommendations. I have also been attending national interest meetings and conventions involving window cleaning safety. This committee will also work closely with the people involved with the Accident Reporting Program. The results of this program will be analyzed as to why and how and what went wrong and the means by which it could have been prevented. I will continue to do this until enough information has been assembled so that when the IWCA’s guidelines are published, hopefully nothing will be left out.


Recently, a manufacturer of high rise window cleaning equipment contacted me and showed great interest in providing a safer workplace.

For the window cleaning companies that utilize ropes for performing their services, and for the guidelines produced by the IWCA, this offer will be highly beneficial.

Quite simply, the manufacturer is offering to perform rope strength testing at no charge to any company that provides a test sample. Rather than go into any details, I will just pass this questionnaire around. This form must be completed by anyone submitting a sample to be tested. The results of this testing will be made available to the IWCA, and to this committee for obvious reasons.

When I first undertook this project, there was talk of distributing this form to members as soon as possible. However numerous conversations between Frost Engineering and myself have determined that most window cleaning companies will not want to surrender any ropes till nearer the end of the window cleaning season. So waiting till closer to the end of the 1991 would probably be a better time to circulate this form, and perform the testing. This decision may improve participation. I do feel that an announcement of this program well before it gets under way will also be beneficial. This program will be for IWCA members only, mainly because they are the only window cleaning companies we are in contact with.


As I stated earlier, I anticipated no major developments for at least a year time. Probably at the upcoming convention the Safety and Training Committee can meet and hopefully iron out some of the discrepancies which arise when discussing window cleaning safety. There is a recent development which I feel that the IWCA should invest in. The Scaffold Industry Association is now offering a correspondance course regarding suspended scaffolding. Any person completing this course will be certified as a qualified instructor.

The course itself is taken through the mail and the final examinations take place at the SIA convention in July of 1991 at Nashville, Tennessee.

As Chairman of the Safety and Training Committee, I feel that it is imperative that I should take this course. The end result would be very beneficial to the IWCA at convention time, and also at any safety seminars which may develop in the future.

My budget request is simply to have the IWCA cover any expenses involved in taking this course, and also attending the SIA convention for the final exams. The course costs $150.00 and I anticipate spending four nights in Nashville and also a convention entry fee. I still am not sure of a total cost but a good estimate would be anywhere from $750.00 to $900.00.

This concludes the April 1991 Safety and Training Committee Report

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Green and Black Gold
There’s gold in them there hills! Well maybe not the hills but certainly on sides of houses and on roofs. Yes, this work has been so plentiful that well, it’s just like gold!