Actually, there are a ton of regulations for our industry. Chapter 8 in particular has several sections on it.
OSHA Window Cleaning Regulations (specific)
From swing stage or suspended scaffolding and aerial lifts to ladder safety. Those are all regulations that pertain to our industry. These are things that we have to know and teach because if we don't, and a man gets injured guess who's fault it is? Ours. Its our responsibility to make sure things are done right, agreed?
Some of them are plain stupid for the majority of situations we are in such as a ladder extending over the walking surface we're going to be on by 5 feet. Now, in most cases it creates more of a hazard than keeping us safe. But its law.
If you need fall protection on a roof, we need to know how to tell the difference between a tie back and a roof walking anchor. They are not rated the same, but some people will use this as a tie back anchor.
Boom lift work and scissor lifts. An absolute MUST.
Load limits, types of lifts, grade of working surface...all things you must know.
I've seen guys wear a harness in a scissor lift, because they thought it was what they were supposed to do and in reality it'll kill ya.
Waterfed pole work; there are many people who've been wrecked or killed because of not paying attention to power lines.
One company who was doing a hospital near Disneyland got electrocuted. If you wanna read about it, click here.
Maybe you are referring to residential work?
There are still regulations for that, and whenever there is a work related injury, residential or commercial sites don't make a difference. All they want to know is if they were trained, how often were there safety meetings, are your methods that are compliant documented and checked in the field. You gotta have a system.
Everyone knows that chairwork is illegal in California. There is a grey area though, and people all over will say that their building fits that area, but in most cases it don't. And really, you can call and get the building approved for chair use by calling.
As far as IWCA being greedy, I can't say that about them. I mean, when a potential client calls you have you EVER heard them ask if you were certified by the IWCA?
I really don't think they give a flying potato chip about it. They wanna make sure you know what you are doing but any seasoned manager/engineer/owner that meets with you will know that as soon as you open your mouth and to what degree. Any monkey can take a course.
I think the IWCA, in creating that, was trying to help out us guys when we first start. More as a marketing thing. I'm probably wrong but thats my take on it, because honestly nobody who hires you is gonna care because they don't know who the IWCA is.