IMPORTANT SAFETY MESSAGE
Greetings IWCA Members!!
February 28, 2018
The IWCA has renewed the Alliance with OSHA on February 14th, 2018. The Alliance is our way of working to provide safety and health programs to all window cleaners across the country. In return, OSHA provides IWCA with tools and information to help our members maintain a safe place to work for their employees.
This year, IWCA is going to be promoting several of the OSHA initiatives for 2018. We encourage you to actively participate in these programs. This year’s list starts with the most applicable to professional window cleaners and that is the promotion of the newly revised Subparts D and I, Walking and Working Surfaces. As you know, these regulations address transportable ladders (and fixed ones), fall protection and rope descending systems and most importantly, TRAINING!!!
We ask that you educate your teams and your customers on these new regulations. They are now being enforced and following them will protect you, your staff and your customers.
The remaining OSHA initiatives require your participation as well. Some of them will even acknowledge you and your company for participating. This can only further help your safety program. The full list of IWCA and OSHA Initiatives are:
- Walking and Working Surfaces Regulations
- Whistleblower Protection Program
- National Stand Down for Fall Protection
- OSHA Safe and Sound
- OSHA Heat Illness Prevention
More information about each of these topics are on the following pages. You need to "click" on the links below each title and go to the OSHA website to obtain materials and information which will help with your company’s participation and acknowledgement.
Start planning now while you are waiting for the spring season start up. Some of the initiatives are scheduled for specific weeks; so you’ll want to be ready in advance.
Have a safe and prosperous 2018!!
OSHA-IWCA Alliance Coordinator www.iwca.org
Final Rule to Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall
Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA has issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to better protect workers in general industry from these hazards by updating and clarifying standards and adding training and inspection requirements.
The rule affects a wide range of workers, from painters to warehouse workers. It does not change construction or agricultural standards.
The rule incorporates advances in technology, industry best practices, and national consensus standards to provide effective and cost-efficient worker protection. Specifically, it updates general industry standards addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards (subpart D), and adds requirements for personal fall protection systems (subpart I).
OSHA estimates that these changes will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year.
Benefits to Employers
The rule benefits employers by providing greater flexibility in choosing a fall protection system. For example, it eliminates the existing mandate to use guardrails as a primary fall protection method and allows employers to choose from accepted fall protection systems they believe will work best in a particular situation - an approach that has been successful in the construction industry since 1994. In addition, employers will be able to use non-conventional fall protection in certain situations, such as designated areas on low-slope roofs.
As much as possible, OSHA aligned fall protection requirements for general industry with those for construction, easing compliance for employers who perform both types of activities. For example, the final rule replaces the outdated general industry scaffold standards with a requirement that employers comply with OSHA's construction scaffold standards.
Most of the rule will become effective January 17, 2017, 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, but some provisions have delayed effective dates, including:
- Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards (May 17, 2017),
- Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (May 17, 2017),
- Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (November 20, 2017),
- Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures (November 19, 2018),
- Ensuring existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (November 19, 2018), and
- Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet (November 18, 2036).
OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program-Ongoing
Employees are protected from retaliation for raising workplace health and safety concerns and for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
OSHA Stand Down for FALL PROTECTION-May 7 to 11-2018
What is a Safety Stand-Down?
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on "Fall Hazards" and reinforcing the importance of "Fall Prevention". Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.
Who Can Participate?
Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer's trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.
How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and FAQ's
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime May 7-11, 2018. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful "Stand- Down" and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.
Certificate of Participation
Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.
Share Your Story With Us
If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs or suggestions on how we can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also share your Stand-Down story on social media, with the
If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA's Events page to submit the event details and to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator.
OSHA Safe and Sound Week-August 13 to 19-2018
Each year, more than 4 million workers suffer serious job-related injuries or illnesses. These incidents don't just hurt workers and their families, but can hurt businesses in a variety of ways. Companies spend $1 billion per week on workers' compensation, which is money that could be better invested in growing small businesses and creating jobs.
Businesses today want to be sustainable, and part of that means taking care of workers so they can help sustain and grow the business. By identifying and controlling the job-related hazards that can lead to injuries and illnesses, safety and health programs improve small- and medium-sized businesses' safety and health performance, save money, and improve competitiveness.
The safety and health program approach has been proven by "best in class" employers that have reduced injuries and illnesses and improved their businesses. While there are different approaches, all effective safety and health programs have three core elements:
- Management leadership. Top management commits to establishing, maintaining, and continually improving the program, and provides any necessary resources.
- Worker participation. Effective programs involve workers in identifying solutions. Improved worker engagement is linked to better productivity, higher job satisfaction, and better worker retention.
- A systematic find and fix approach. All effective programs are centered around a proactive process of finding and fixing hazards before they can cause injury or illness.
Initiating a safety and health program doesn't have to be complicated or require outside consultants; there are some simple, do-it-yourself steps to get started. To learn more about how to integrate safety and health programs in your organization, visit the OSHA Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs page.
What Is Safe + Sound Week?
A nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.
Safe workplaces are sound businesses. Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started or energize an existing one.
Who Is Encouraged to Participate?
Organizations of any size or in any industry looking for an opportunity to show their commitment to safety to workers, customers, the public, or supply chain partners should participate.
How to Participate
Participating in Safe + Sound Week is easy. To get started, select the activities you would like to do at your workplace. Some organizations might want to host a public event. Examples of potential activities and tools to help you plan and promote your events are available. After you've completed your events, you can download a certificate and web badge to recognize your organization and your workers.
OSHA Heat Illness Prevention-June to September-2018
Our Heat Illness Prevention campaign, launched in 2011, educates employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Through training sessions, outreach events, informational sessions, publications, social media messaging and media appearances, millions of workers and employers have learned how to protect workers from heat. Our safety message comes down to three key words: Water. Rest. Shade.
Dangers of Working in the Heat
Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible. There are a range of heat illnesses and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.
Employer Responsibility to Protect Workers
Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
- Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
- Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase work loads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
- Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
- Monitor workers for signs of illness.
OSHA's Occupational Exposure to Heat page explains what employers can do to keep workers safe and what workers need to know - including factors for heat illness, adapting to working in indoor and outdoor heat, protecting workers, recognizing symptoms, and first aid training. The page also includes resources for specific industries and OSHA workplace standards. Also look for heat illness educational and training materials on our Publications page.