Window Washing Accidents

The Florida Work Injury Accident Attorneys and Workers Compensation Lawyers of Gilman Law LLP are Here to Help You

Southwest Florida Work Injuries:
Ladder Accidents | Scaffolding Accidents | Window Washing Accidents

In Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Naples, Fort Myers, and other larger Florida cities, window washing can be a lucrative business, but it can also be a dangerous occupation. Florida window washing companies have a duty to provide their employees with sufficient training and equipment that is in good working order. Failure to do so could literally be a matter of life and death.

Florida workers injured in window washing accidents are eligible for benefits under Florida workers’ compensation law. The Florida window washing accident lawyers at Gilman Law LLP have a great deal of experience representing the victims of a wide variety of Florida work related injuries, including those stemming from window washing accidents. Our Florida window washing accident lawyers are committed to making sure the victims of these tragedies have full access to the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to.

Florida Window Washing Accident Causes

Florida window washing accidents can occur because of a number of factors. Often, these incidents are the result of window washing companies failing to follow basic safety standards. For example, window washers must often attach their safety lines to drain covers, HVAC units, old masonry, or other ill-suited anchor points. The consequences of these practices can be catastrophic.

Florida employers should ensure that employees tie off on approved anchorage points by showing and explaining to them which anchor points are firmly secure and capable of supporting their weight. Many accidents could be avoided if building owners were also required to retrofit old buildings with permanent anchorage points.

Florida Employers should also provide window washing employees with approved suspension equipment. Often, suspension systems used for construction work are unsuitable for window washing, such as the botswains chair-like descent system. Employers should also make sure that window washers use approved and safe descent systems for window washing.

Our Florida window washing accident attorneys are aware of many incidents that were the result poor worker training. Window washing companies should design, develop and implement safety programs that include training in the proper use of approved rigging and fall protection devices such as suspension rigging, rope access, hoists, platforms and work cages.

Companies should also have designated safety officers to spearhead window washing safety programs and conduct jobsite safety meetings. These meetings should cover recognition and avoidance of fall hazards, the proper selection of personal protection equipment and anchorage points, and what to do in the event that there is no apparent safe way to complete a job.

Florida Window Washing Safety Standards

In order to prevent terrible window washing accidents, the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) developed safety standards to better ensure the safety of window cleaners. Known as “ANSI/IWCA I-14.1 Window Cleaning Safety,” the document was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in October 2001 and establishes some guidance in providing a safer environment for window cleaners.

Under the IWCA standards, property owners and managers are to create a “safe work place” and provide written documentation on an annual basis that addresses such items as:

  • Verification of the inspection of any permanent window-cleaning equipment installed on rooftops. This might include powered platforms, platform supports, roof anchors, window-cleaner belt anchors or permanent ladders, as well as other equipment.
  • Maintenance records and inspection documents for the window-cleaning contractor prior to the use of the equipment.
  • All applicable information about the equipment, including the manufacturers of the devices, load ratings, intended use and limitations, and instructions for the window-cleaning contractor .

Florida window washing contractors also must meet certain obligations under the IWCA standards. The plan includes assurances that:

  • Contractors will perform their services in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws, regulations, codes and standards.
  • Their workers are trained adequately in the operation of any and all equipment used to perform their duties. This includes verifiable proof of training or certification.
  • Any equipment brought to the building by the contractor is designed, maintained and inspected according to industry standards.

The IWCA standard applies to all window-cleaning operations performed at least three stories above the grade, flat roof or any other surface, indoors or out. Contractors must give building managers assurances that they are performing their duties covered by the standard, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, this guidance is not a law, but rather a set of standards and regulations. Companies that clean windows have no legal obligation to follow the standard. However, failing to do so may illustrate a lack of good faith when it comes to worker safety.

Florida Workers Compensation Law

When a window washer is injured in Florida, they are entitled to Florida workers’ compensation benefits. Florida workers’ compensation benefits are typically paid at 66 2/3% of your average weekly rate. Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier also pays for all authorized medical treatment. Florida workers’ compensation law also requires the employer to furnish medical treatment, care, and attendance for as long as the nature of the injury requires.

Some injuries–such as spinal cord injuries–are presumed to be permanently and totally disabling. If you are totally disabled, you are eligible to receive benefits until you reach the age of 75. Florida workers’ compensation law requires that families be provided for in the case of a work related death.

Legal Help for Victims of Florida Window Washing Accidents

With offices in Bonita Springs, Ft.Myers or Naples Florida, our window washing accident lawyers have helped hundreds of victims and their families recover from these tragedies throughout the state of Florida. If you have been injured in a window washing accident, we will work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Florida window washing accident, you have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online free window washing accident consultation form, or call (888) 252-0048 to discuss your case with one of the experienced Florida window washing accident lawyers.