States have varying rules about liability for window cleaning, but in general, a company can clean windows on the first two stories of a building without special insurance. To clean these windows, equipment investment is low: really a cleaner only needs a squeegee, bucket and ladder. To improve efficiency and safety, a BSC may want to consider investing in a water-fed pole.

Cleaning high-rise windows requires a bigger investment. There’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance in addition to more specialized equipment. Bosun’s chairs, rope descent systems, roof anchorages, ground barricades, scaffolding and maybe even cherry pickers will be needed to reach and clean these higher windows.

Window cleaners aren’t legally required to be certified, but it is a good idea to take certification programs available through organizations like International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). If there is an accident, it doesn’t look good in court if the BSC knew of a certification but was not compliant.