New OSHA regulation requiring ladder safety training?


I heard that anyone working at height using ladders is required to have certified safety training by April 17th. Anyone else hear about this or know anything about it and the details?


The date is May 17th.


Great resource. Thanks for the info.


I got an email form Josh L.earlier today haven’t had a chance to view it yet though.


Its really not that big of a deal fellas. Not at all. And with some minor tweaks to your equipment you’ll be fine if you got older ladders that the wrungs are a little slippery. Here’s the link to the actual new regulations and what you need to tell your men.

New OSHA regulations


I think IWCA is trying to push for people to buy their training courses. I’m interested in knowing what everyone is doing with employees. Are you going over the new guidelines with them and what ways are you documenting it?


IWCA is recognized by OSHA, no doubt about it. But you don’t need to buy into a training course to be compliant. All you need to do is go to the OSHA website. In my case its CAL OSHA, who are more rigid by far.

There are links to people you can call that are certified by OSHA to come to you and check things out. In other words, they WANT you to do things right. Thats a fact. They pretty much tell you “give us a call and we’ll send someone to check it out, not to fine you if you ain’t compliant, but so that you do it right so you don’t get fined down the line or lose your biz or good rep because of tragedy”.

I ain’t gonna buy no course.

Law says you need to have everything documented that they were trained. How often they were trained, by whom, what qualifies that person to train etc.

Its really pretty simple.

Just make it a matter of part of your business to know these things and study an hour a day til you got it down and get updates every year.

I still haven’t seen the I 14, I can’t see buying something that should be public domain. Like safety for window cleaners is some sort of huge secret. If the main objective was safety for the working man, it should be free IMO. I respect what the IWCA has done and continues to do for the industry as a whole, matter of fact, without them so many would be out of business because of scratched glass lawsuits.

So really, they got props in my book. Just saying about safety tho, these things should be public domain, period.

So I never bought one because I don’t really think anything new can be learned from it that isn’t already written in the revisions to OSHA regulations or that we ourselves have put into our own safety manuals in the spirit of other relevant regulations or similar but more in depth description of stuff already there, again, that we’ve done ourselves.

I’d love to see it, I’m sure its a collaboration of the top pro’s and the combination of everyone’s own safety manuals into one super refined one for window cleaners that was approved by OSHA. I am probably wrong about that, and if someone has the I 14 and has read it…am I wrong about that?


Although I don’t recall anyone expressing it was a big deal, I do think it’s a big change for our industry that hasn’t had hardly any regulations at all. Part of the reason that our trade has remained so easily accessible is that there is very little regulation which adds cost and training requirements. Let’s face it, once there is a list of requirements and regulations it’s not going to shrink but only grow larger and require more documentation and certifications which adds cost and training requirements.


The part that passes me off the most about it is that when I took the IWCA safety course hears ago they were pushing for regulations for our industry. My take was that they were looking for an avenue to make money off of being the industry regulators. Their motivation for pushing for standards was to position themselves as the heads of the industry, creating for themselves a guaranteed demand for their organization and in turn $'s. Purely selfish motives masked by a “concern for the industry and safety”. They’re doing the same thing selling out to the glass industry over the fabricating debris issue.


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.

All regulations.

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.


Wow. This normative is all new to me. It’s been years since I took the IWCA safety course so a lot must have changed since then. Time really flies. When I took it they expressed that there were none of these regulations in place and that there were no industry specific regulation and especially as it relates to high rise. They were pushing for regulation. Maybe that push resulted in the regulations you shared.

That said my concern is more about ladder safety as I don’t do high rise. I had no idea they had a 18’ ladder regulation for someone to foot the ladder. That makes no sense! I couldn’t work solo at all with this regulation.

As for the IWCA wanting recognition I never said they want recognition from industry outsiders like our customers. I said they want to be leaders within the industry. For them training to meet OSHA regulations is another avenue to make money. It’s just another product. It’s just my observation based on the presentation I sat through and what was said. Based on the discussions afterwards others got the same impression so it wasn’t just me. It’s not worth the argument though as it’s just an opinion.

For me the goal is to understand the regulations and what is coming up.


Sorry if i came off argumentative. No offense was intended.


its all taken with a grain of salt. My desire is to build good relationships. I appreciate the input.

When was the regulations you posted put in place, do you know? Does it apply across all regions of the US? Again its new to me. I am especially concerned about the 18’ ladder rule. There is no way I could apply that every day. I would have to permanently switch to WFP only. It is a waste of time to have two guys on each high window.


Don’t know exactly, I’d try calling the rep in my city and ask for


I put in a call yesterday and left a message. I’m waiting to hear back.


Are solo operators under OSHA’a watchful eye?

I guess third story windows are going to be more expensive for a crew to clean now.
I wonder if the residential customers will embrace another price increase? After all it’s for safety.


What does this rule state, I haven’t had a chance to review the new regulations. Can you give me a quick over view.

Edit: just reviewed that section.


So, my understanding is we have until May 17 to take all employees through certified training. Just exactly does that mean? How do we comply with OSHA’s requirements?


That’s the same question I have. I put in a call to OSHA but haven’t heard back yet.


Reading this thread I remembered that a few months ago someone called from OSHA about safety training or safety regulations or something. He asked about employees, and I told him it’s just my husband and me. So he said whatever he was calling about didn’t apply to us.