Professional Rope Access (PRA) and Rope Descent System (RDS) are probably the oldest
height access methods. Developed by professional climbers, RA allows professionals
to quickly and safely reach any areas of any structure or building façade.
Generally, a two-rope system is employed: a work line supports
the worker and the safety line provides back-up fall protection.
HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS FOR PRA WINDOW CLEANING
RDS is by far the most preferred access method of the vast majority of window cleaners in the USA. It has all of the same safety factors as a suspended scaffold if used in proper weather conditions (no wind). There are no legal restrictions for using this method for any window cleaning operations at heights up to 300 anywhere in the USA, except for NY and California. In NY, the use of RDS is allowed only on elevations up to 75 (strangely enough restriction applies for window cleaning work only and if you are painting the same facade wall from RDS – it’s perfectly legal!).
The rule is dated October 1, 1967. It’s 21st century outside, and safety equipment for rope access is made with the use of aerospace technologies, yet the rule from 1967 was never revised nor updated.
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