Subpart 1. Scope.

This standard applies to all window cleaning operation, building maintenance operation, or a combination of both, that is performed on the inside or outside of any building, structure, or skyway, when the work is performed at a level that is suspended more than 14 feet above grade or on an adjoining flat roof or other flat surface. This requirement does not apply to a window washing operation or building maintenance operation that is performed from grade level or from a ladder supported at grade.

Subp. 2. Definitions.

The terms used in this part have the meanings given them in this subpart.

A. "Building maintenance" means operations such as window cleaning, caulking, metal polishing, reglazing, and general maintenance on building surfaces.
B. "Building owner" means a person who exercises control over any management relating to a building or facility, or both, in which window cleaning operations or maintenance operations covered by this standard take place.
C. "Competent person" means an experienced and trained individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazards.
D. "Lifeline" means a flexible line for connection to an anchorage at one end to hang vertically (vertical lifeline), or for connection to anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally (horizontal lifeline), and which serves as a means for connecting other components of a personal fall-arrest system to the anchorage.
E. "Person" means an individual or legal entity, including a lessee.
F. "Qualified individual" means an individual who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, and who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the equipment and systems pertaining to the work or project, and the development of plans for the work or project.
G. "Rope descent system" means an assembly of components that supports one employee in a chair or seat board and allows the user to descend in a controlled manner and to stop at any time at a desired level of descent. A rope descent system is a variation of the single-point adjustable suspension scaffold, which is also known as a controlled descent device, controlled descent equipment, or controlled descent apparatus.
H. "Window cleaning" means operations such as window washing, window restoration, window scraping, window sealing, waxing, or metal polishing, or any combination of the six.
Subp. 3. Written plan.

Any person performing window cleaning operations or building maintenance operations shall provide a written plan developed by the employer or qualified individual before the work begins. The written plan shall be reviewed with the employees doing the work and the building owner or the building owner's operating agent. The written plan shall include the following:

A. the location of work where workers may utilize suspended equipment, and where workers are exposed to falls and other known hazards;
B. the identification of hazardous areas or drop zones, and safety features to be used, which shall include self-rescue;
C. a step-by-step procedure on the control of each hazardous area or drop zone; and
D. an on-site evaluation of the plan implementation by the employer or a qualified individual.
Subp. 4. Building exterior; visual inspection.

Prior to using any equipment, the building exterior shall be visually inspected by a competent person and appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure that building features such as sharp edges of parapets, window frames, ledges, cornices, or overhangs cannot impair the structural integrity of the rope descent system, or other suspension equipment, and any associated fall-protection rigging. Padding shall be secured in a manner that prevents the padding from dislodging from the surface to be protected. A written signed log of the inspection shall be maintained on site for the duration of the operation and retained by the employer for one year.

Subp. 5. Anchorages.

A qualified individual shall determine that there are identified and certified anchorages for:

A. independent safety lines; tiebacks for outriggers, parapet clamps, and cornice hooks; and powered and manual boatswain's chairs;
B. descent systems; and
C. lifelines.

The building owner or its representative shall provide written documentation of the identified and certified anchorages to window cleaning contractors and building maintenance contractors. Building owners shall not allow suspended work to be performed at their facility, and window cleaning contractors and building maintenance contractors shall not perform suspended work at a facility, until a qualified individual has determined that there are identified and certified anchorages for items A to C.

Subp. 6. Rope descent systems.
A. The use of a rope descent system is prohibited for heights greater than 300 feet unless the qualified individual can demonstrate that access cannot otherwise be attained safely and practicably.
B. When a rope descent system is used, each employer and competent person shall:
(1) ensure the use of equipment according to the instructions, warnings, and design limitations of the manufacturer and distributor;
(2) inspect all equipment in every rope descent system prior to its use for each day used, and remove damaged equipment from service;
(3) inspect equipment after each descent and when moved to a new area or location to ensure the rope descent system is properly assembled before descending again. Damaged equipment shall be removed from service;
(4) ensure the use of proper rigging, including structural anchorages and tiebacks, with a particular emphasis on providing tiebacks when counterweights, cornice hooks, and parapet clamps, or similar nonpermanent anchorages, are used;
(5) ensure the use of a separate, independent personal fall-arrest system with a separate anchorage point;
(6) ensure that all lifelines are capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds;
(7) provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall, which shall include self-rescue;
(8) ensure ropes are effectively padded where they contact edges of the building, anchorage, obstructions, and other surfaces which might cut or weaken the rope as required by subpart 4;
(9) provide for stabilization at the specific work location when descents are greater than 130 feet;
(10) prohibit window cleaning or building maintenance when the work area is exposed to excessive wind. Excessive wind is considered to be any wind which constitutes a hazard to a worker, the public, or property;
(11) require each employee to secure equipment, such as tools, squeegees, or buckets by a tool lanyard or similar method to prevent equipment from falling;
(12) protect suspension ropes and lifelines from exposure to open flames, hot work, corrosive chemicals, or other destructive conditions; and
(13) prepare a written daily log of each of subitems (1) to (12), which shall be signed by the competent person and maintained on site for the duration of the operation, and retained for one year thereafter.
Subp. 7. Fall protection.
A. Fall protection, perimeter guarding, personal fall-arrest systems, or personal fall-restraint systems shall be provided by the employer for every employee in all work areas that expose the employee to a fall hazard.
B. Each employee using a rope descent system shall be protected from falling four feet or more to lower levels by a personal fall-arrest system.
C. Employees shall wear and completely assemble their personal fall-arrest equipment, and be securely tied back prior to approaching the point of suspension.
Subp. 8. Training requirements.
A. The employer shall provide training for each employee who uses personal fall-protection equipment. The training shall enable each employee to recognize fall hazards and the procedures to be followed to minimize those hazards.
B. The employer shall ensure that each employee is trained by a qualified individual or competent person. The employee shall be trained in the following areas:
(1) the nature of fall hazards in the work area;
(2) the correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall-protection systems to be used;
(3) the use, operation, and limitations of personal fall-protection systems, including proper hookup, anchoring, and tie-off techniques; methods of use; and proper methods of equipment inspection and storage as recommended by the manufacturer; and
(4) the use and operation of self-rescue equipment or systems.
C. The employer shall ensure that each employee is trained in the proper care, use, and inspection of equipment covered by this part before the employee is permitted to use the equipment.
D. The employer shall ensure that each employee who uses a rope descent system is trained and retrained as necessary in the proper rigging and safe use of the equipment.
E. The employer shall retrain an employee when any of the following occur:
(1) changes in the workplace render previous training invalid;
(2) changes in the types of fall-protection systems or equipment to be used render previous training invalid; or
(3) inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of fall-protection systems or equipment indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.
F. The employer shall provide information and training to each employee in a manner that is understandable to that employee.
G. The employer shall maintain training records, which shall include:
(1) the dates training was conducted;
(2) the name, title, and qualifications of the person who conducted the training;
(3) the names and job titles of the employees who completed the training; and
(4) a brief summary or outline of the information that was included in the training.


Minn. R. 5205.0730
36 SR 874

Statutory Authority: MS s 182.655

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