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Window Washing Regulations

custodial and grounds worker cleaning a glass window
Due to current water restrictions in the state of California, all request for window washing will be placed on hold. However, we are still able to process requests for an Operating Procedures Outline Sheet (OPOS).

Window Washing Regulations

Window cleaning is a non-state funded activity that requires a Facilities Service Request. Once received Facilities Management will make the determination on whether the work can be done in-house or if it needs to be contracted out. When contracting out work, Facilities Management will also determine whether an Operating Procedures Outline Sheet (OPOS) is needed. If there is no OPOS in place, a third party engineering firm will need to provide the OPOS, a process that takes approximately 7 months.

An Operating Procedures Outline Sheet (OPOS) is an exhaustive guide designed and established by structural engineering professionals that outlines the necessary and specific allowable operating procedures, safety measures, equipment limitations, identified hazards and emergency procedures for exterior building maintenance processes.

An OPOS consists of key building identification information, pictorial drawings of the building’s roof, identification of designated drops zones, prescribed drop sequences, scaffolding configurations, permanent roof rigging platforms, ground rigged scaffolding plans, davits and outrigger beam locations and other permanent controlled decent device locations.

Drawings will also identify all anchorage points for controlled decent and fall arrest systems, locations of permanent equipment and any notable building features, which may present a hazard or challenge to executing exterior maintenance. An OPOS will outline and describe all personal fall protection requirements, drops plans, work site access, egress and equipment transfer locations and methods, equipment limitations and load ratings with special use considerations, provisions for all required equipment and maintenance inspections, indications of the location and method of stabilization for suspended equipment and all emergency and rescue procedures and communication methods used during such procedures.

When considering external cleaning and maintenance, the necessity of an OPOS is determined by the height, design and existing structural and notable architectural features of an individual building. Your building will require an OPOS for window washing if the building meets any of the following conditions, regardless of building age:

- Your building does not have a window cleaning safety system or procedure in place which has been established by an approved scaffold inspection and testing (SIT) agency or that meets the requirements of Cal/OSHA Title 8 Article 5 §3285.

- Your building has been modified since the existing OPOS was established.

- Your building includes “extreme architectural features” which necessitate the use of special rigging equipment to safely navigate the exterior while performing maintenance.

- Your building includes pre-existing rigging equipment which is not covered under Title 8 safety orders.

- Your building is 36’ or higher.

Even if an OPOS is not required for window washing services in your building, it is never a disadvantage to have such safety documentation on hand in the event of an emergency or to aid in maintenance or construction planning.

Find out more about Cal/OSHA Title 8 regulations and requirements here.

In California, an OPOS is required to be prepared by a company knowledgeable in designing, installing and maintaining building maintenance equipment that also possesses a current Scaffold Inspection Testing (SIT) certification. Please submit a Facilities Service Request to Facilities Management to ensure that an approved Cal-OSHA third party firm is contracted to provide the OPOS.

Custodial Services can handle any of your interior window washing needs. If your building requires exterior window washing for surfaces on levels 1-3, Custodial Services can execute these cleanings using extension poles from the ground, provided there is safe exterior access. Please submit a Service or Estimate Request via the Facilities Service Request Page.

Cleaning with extension poles may impact the quality of the cleaning. If a more detailed cleaning is required, an OPOS will need to be provided or requested to allow use of a boom lift or other appropriate equipment per Title 8 of the Cal/OSHA Regulations for window cleaning through an appropriate vendor that has been vetted by Facilities Management.