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About This Item


Full Description


This is the sixth edition of CSA Z91, Health and safety code for suspended equipment operations. It supersedes the previous edition published in 2002 under the same title and the 1990, 1980, 1959, and 1949 editions published under the title Safety Code for Window Cleaning Operations.

Key changes in this edition include

a) updated requirements for davits;

b) clarification of requirements for portable equipment;

c) updated training requirements;

d) updated figures throughout the document to enhance readability;

e) requirements for rigging over building guards (particularly glass railings); and

f) inclusion of a new informative annex on the relationship between this Standard and rope access methods.


The purpose of this Standard is to provide basic occupational health and safety requirements for persons working from or occupying equipment, both permanently installed and temporary, suspended from buildings or structures. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to, suspended platforms, bosun?s chairs, stages running on inclines, and suspended work cages. It does not include elevating devices, platforms supported from the ground or building elevations, or equipment suspended from cranes or hoists.

Although the roots of this Standard lie in the window cleaning trade, the Standard is intended to be applied to any other type of work activity using suspended equipment. In developing this Standard, the Technical Committee considered the needs of specific activities such as exterior building cleaning, painting, application of sealants and insulation, brickwork repointing, renovations, inspections, and related building/structure maintenance. This Standard may also be applied to non-traditional activities, such as observation or photography, that are occasionally carried out from suspended equipment.

Although recommendations are made on appropriate equipment to use for various applications, provincial codes and regulations could have an added effect on the actual application to Canadian workplaces. The user is advised to seek this information in local codes, provincial labour regulations, and manufacturers? information.

Specific obligations and responsibilities contained in this Standard apply to equipment manufacturers, building/structure owners, building maintenance companies, independent contractors, operators of suspended equipment, and any person occupying suspended equipment. The criteria in this Standard are written in a way that will allow the Standard to be referenced in provincial regulations and municipal codes.


This Standard includes requirements for the safe operation of various types of suspended equipment (see Figure 1) used to gain access to interior or exterior, or both, sides, ceilings and soffits of buildings or structures. Much of the equipment referred to in this Standard is designed, installed, inspected, and tested in accordance with CAN/CSA-Z271 and other referenced standards. This Standard does not apply to crane-suspended platforms or baskets (see CSA Z150), multi-point bridge platforms, or hanging scaffolds.

Note: While this Standard is not intended to cover equipment design and building provisions, both CAN/CSA-Z271 and this Standard contain necessary information for design and operation of suspended equipment.

This Standard specifies the safety requirements for suspended equipment that is normally used for, but whose use is not limited to, window cleaning, exterior building cleaning, painting, application of sealants and insulation, brickwork, repointing, renovations, inspection, and related building/structure maintenance.

This Standard is not intended to prevent the development of new equipment or practices or to prescribe specifically how innovations should be handled.


1) The use of practices, equipment, or safety devices that are different from those described in this Standard may be deemed to meet the requirements of this Standard, provided that it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the authority having jurisdiction, or the certification agency acting on its behalf, that these differences will not impair the suitability of the equipment or safety devices, or their intended use.

2) Information on the relationship between rope access and the equipment covered in this Standard and CAN/CSA-Z271 can be found in Annex C.

Where the requirements of this Standard are at variance with the requirements of other standards or codes referred to in this Standard, the requirements of this Standard take precedence.

Note: Refer to applicable jurisdictional building codes for information relevant to requirements for installations on buildings.

In this Standard, "shall" is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; "should" is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and "may" is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the standard.

Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.

Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.

Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.

The values given in SI units are the units of record for the purposes of this Standard. The values given in parentheses are for information and comparison only.


Document History

  1. CAN/CSA Z91-17


    Health and Safety Code for Suspended Equipment Operations

    • Most Recent
  2. CAN/CSA Z91-02 (R2013)

    Health and Safety Code for Suspended Equipment Operations

    • Historical Version
  3. CAN/CSA Z91-M90 (R2001)

    Safety Code for Window Cleaning Operations

    • Historical Version