Tribute: April 1991 Safety and Training Committee ReportThis issue of Safety in My Biz pays tribute to the IWCA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the upcoming IWCA Convention to be held in Savannah, GA in January 2020. The efforts of Stefan Bright thru the years as Safety Director for the IWCA. Thru the years there have been topics that have needed attention and not everyone agreed on how they would be handled but the accomplishments have been noteworthy. We recently obtained a copy of the very first Safety and Training Committee Report given to the IWCA.
The goal of this committee is to eventually provide all members and possibly non-members, with a guide for window cleaning safety. Also some sort of training manual should be provided. These are two key elements which may help window cleaners nationally in reducing the human error factor.
My original thought was to provide the manuals to our members at a cost and also making them available to non-members at a nominally higher cost, with the hopes of possibly recruiting these non-members.
To date, I have not yet assembled the committee, however I have spoken to some members who have shown interest, I am waiting for the results of the survey taken at the 1991 Convention in San Diego, to see if any other members wish to become involved.
Once this committee has been formed and the guidelines produced, I envision the use of safety seminars thruout the year in order to educate the masses.
At this time, I can estimate a time period of at least one year until the production of these guidelines can get under way. There are several reasons. One of the main reasons is Federal Offices are currently investigating some of the methods we use and we certainly do not want to print anything contradictory. Another reason is the fact that some of the codes and standards which are presently available, are not easily understood and sometimes even mis-understood by window cleaners.
Fortunately, the Codes and Standards Committee Chairman has agreed to work with me to help clear up some of these misconceptions.
Right now, until this committee has officially been formed, I have undertaken a fact finding mission. I have contacted members of the IWCA, the SIA, Canada’s Ministries of Labor, and several Window Cleaners Unions, and have requested they provide me with any safety programs or guidelines which they are using. I am also in contact with numerous manufacturers of window cleaning equipment in order to examine specifications and recommendations. I have also been attending national interest meetings and conventions involving window cleaning safety. This committee will also work closely with the people involved with the Accident Reporting Program. The results of this program will be analyzed as to why and how and what went wrong and the means by which it could have been prevented. I will continue to do this until enough information has been assembled so that when the IWCA’s guidelines are published, hopefully nothing will be left out.