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Boston High-Rise Rescue Casts Spotlight on Façade Worker Safety Issues

Window washing accident in Boston spurs interest in OSHA regulations for inspections of fall arrest roof anchor systems.

Boston High-Rise Rescue Casts Spotlight on Façade Worker Safety Issues
Boston, MA, August 08, 2009 --( Boston firefighters rescued window washers this week from the 37th floor of Exchange Place at 53 State Street after their powered platform malfunctioned.

These types of accidents, equipment malfunctions and system failures drive the workplace regulatory organizations to pay very close attention to a building’s installed “over the edge” maintenance equipment and personnel safety equipment. The heart of the workplace safety regulatory community is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA's role is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. In the case of window cleaning, OSHA sets regulations for the design, installation and proper use of equipment used to suspend workers over the edge of a structure. These regulations also include fall arrest safety systems to tie back equipment as well as provide independent lifeline systems for workers.

Boston Anchor and Safety Equipment is a recognized leader in the safety fall arrest anchor systems market. Boston Anchor engineers, manufactures, installs, certifies, maintains and inspects a full line of safety fall arrest roof anchors that insure the safety and security of façade workers.

“The safety and security of façade workers is our primary focus,” said James Howell, Director of Operations at Boston Anchor. “Our mission is to provide the most advanced, most reliable and safest fall arrest systems.”

OSHA is not alone regulating façade worker fall arrest systems. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) also weigh in on the subject with their own enforceable rules and regulations adopted by federal, state and local regulatory agencies.

“Compliance with existing government regulations is the bare minimum standard here at Boston Anchor,” Howell stated. “We engineer anchorage systems and create best practices for our clients that are state-of-the-art and well ahead of existing standards and regulations. For instance, OSHA regulations mandate each fall arrest anchor be certified to hold up to 5,000lbs. Boston Anchor’s fall arrest anchorages have been certified to secure loads in excess of 50,000lbs. We strive to stay ahead of the industry and keep the safety and security of façade workers at top of mind.”

OSHA and ANSI/IWCA also mandate follow-on periodic inspections and re-certifications of fall arrest systems after installation. OSHA periodically conducts spot checks to verify building owners are in compliance with inspection and certification regulations. Following accidents like the one in Boston this week, regulatory organizations tend to increase their pressure and enforcement of inspection and certification mandates.

“Compliance with mandated fall arrest system inspections and re-certifications is not only an integral part of providing a safe work environment for façade workers, it’s the law,” Howell says. “We help our customers achieve and maintain compliance with inspections and re-certifications as well as educating them with changes to regulations and mandates. The rules and regulations can be confusing and are ever changing. We make compliance easy so they can focus their energies, resources and talents on other areas of their business.”

About Boston Anchor & Safety Equipment
Boston Anchor & Safety Equipment creates innovative safety fall arrest anchorage systems that help our customers deliver outstanding levels of safety and security to their façade workers and exceed government and industry regulations and mandates. Discover our passion for safety at

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Phone: 617.286.1133

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Boston Anchor & Safety Equipment
James Howell

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