Safety Standards for Window Cleaning

Chapter 296-878, WAC

Effective Date: 01/01/03

Helpful Tools


WAC 296-878-100

For printing

These rules apply to all window-cleaning activities performed on the inside or outside of a building in which the window cleaner is working from a level that is located more than 48 inches above grade.

WAC 296-878-10005

Your responsibility:

Make sure workers clean windows safely, and properly use and maintain their window-cleaning equipment.


Window-cleaning equipment includes window-cleaner's belts, boatswains' chairs, rope descent systems, ladders, supported scaffolds and the support equipment used to suspend employees cleaning windows.

You must


Train workers to use window-cleaning equipment

Building surfaces and fixtures

Make sure building surfaces and fixtures are safe to use

Inspection procedures

Inspect the area to be cleaned

Inspect window-cleaning equipment before use

Develop site-specific service and emergency plans

Develop a site-specific service and emergency recovery plan for window-cleaning operations


Select and use appropriate equipment
Select appropriate rope for suspended equipment
Select appropriate carabiners
Use fall protection equipment

Warning signs and barricades

Provide warning signs and barricades when suspended equipment is used

Power line clearances

Maintain clearance between window cleaners and power lines

Window-cleaners' belts and anchors

Select appropriate window-cleaners' belts and anchors
Inspect the anchors you plan to use for window cleaning
Use window-cleaners' belts safely
Move safely on the outside of buildings

Boatswains' chairs

Select appropriate boatswains' chairs
Safely use boatswains' chairs rigged with a block and tackle

Rope descent systems

Select appropriate rope descent systems
Safely use rope descent systems
Safely use rope descent devices

Equipment prohibited

Prohibit equipment from use



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