This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations
from its web site at www.dir.ca.gov. These regulations are for the
convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information
is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at https://www.dir.ca.gov/od_pub/disclaimer.html.
Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 1. General Physical Conditions and Structures Orders
Article 5. Window Cleaning
(1) Ladders shall be used for window cleaning only where the windows cannot otherwise be cleaned safely and practicably by means of approved anchors and window cleaning belts, but this method shall not be used to clean a window that requires the use of a fully extended extension ladder in excess of 40 feet.
(2) At all times when a cleaner is working on a ladder over 18 feet working length, a person shall stand at the foot of it, face it, and hold it with both hands.
(3) All ladders shall be used at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is one-quarter the assembled length of the ladder (i.e., the length along the ladder between the foot and the top support).
Note: Nonslip bases are not intended as a substitute for care in safely placing, lashing or holding a ladder that is being used on oily, metal, concrete or slippery surfaces.
(4) Pointed ladders may be used for window cleaning. Rollers shall not be used at the point.
(5) Portable metal ladders shall not be used in the vicinity of electrical circuits in places where they may come in contact with them. Portable metal ladders shall be legibly marked with signs reading “CAUTION - Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment,” or equivalent wording.
(6) Each ladder shall be inspected daily and those which developed defects shall be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and shall be tagged or marked “Danger, Do Not Use.” Improvised repairs shall not be made.
(7) Ladders shall be stored in such a manner as to provide ease of access or inspection, and to prevent danger of accident when withdrawing a ladder for use. Ladders, when not in use, shall be stored at a location where they will not be exposed to the elements, but where there is good ventilation. Wood ladders shall not be stored near radiators, stoves, steam pipes, or other places subjected to excessive heat or dampness. Rungs shall be kept free of grease and oil.
(8) Sectional ladders shall not be used by more than one man at a time, or with ladder jacks and scaffold planks.
(9) The top rest for the ladder shall be rigid and shall have ample strength to support the applied load. Ladders shall not be placed in front of doors unless the door is blocked open, locked or guarded. They shall not be placed on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
(10) When ascending, working upon or descending the ladder, the user shall face the ladder.
(11) The use of ladders with hooks attached, to be hung on or over a parapet wall or other projection, shall not be permitted in window cleaning.
(12)(A) No employee shall be permitted to stand on or work from the top 3 rungs of a ladder unless there are structural members that provide a firm handhold or the employee is protected from falling by a personal fall protection system (e.g., positioning device or fall restraint system) in accordance with the requirements of Section 1670 of the Construction Safety Orders.
(B) Stepladders. Employees shall not sit, kneel, step or, stand on the pail shelf, topcap or the step below the topcap of a stepladder.
Exception: Employees may stand on the step below the topcap provided it is located 18 inches under the topcap.
Note: Tops of self supporting ladders shall not be considered as a rung.
(13) No ladder shall be used where the base of the ladder is above grade unless there is a safe means of access to the base and adequate fastenings to prevent the ladder from slipping or falling.
(14) Ladders shall not be used on scaffolds to gain additional height.
(1) Portable ladders shall comply with Section 3276 of the General Industry Safety Orders.
Exception: Refer to Section 3287(a)(1) for maximum length.
(2) All ladders shall be equipped with nonslip bases suitable to the bearing surface. Middle and top sections shall not be used as bottom sections unless the user equips them with nonslip bases.