Stefan Bright is the winner of the 2014 Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) for his role in establishing a field manual, training and standards that reduced fatalities among professional window washers by 30 percent over the last two decades.
Given in honor of the 146 victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, ASSE’s Triangle Award honors a safety, health and occupational professional who, in the course of going beyond his or her normally assigned duties, either prevents or minimizes physical injury, loss of life or substantial property damage in a workplace. In its second year, the Triangle Award will be given to Bright on May 7 during North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week in Washington D.C.
“I’ve been at this a long time,” said Bright, 53, of Howell, N.J. “I was one of the guys hanging off the side of a building. We were forced to figure it out. Every time I give a training session, someone says how much it’s helped. It does make me feel good.”
Bright, who received a record five Triangle Award nominations, is the safety director for Ohio-based International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). Faced with increasing injuries and fatalities among window washers, Bright developed a field manual in 1992 outlining best practices.
In 1994, based largely on Bright’s efforts with the IWCA, OSHA recognized professional window washers as a highly skilled occupation. In 1996, Bright developed IWCA’s Window Cleaner Safety Certification Program and in 2001, worked with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to create a new industry standard named IWCA I-14 Window Cleaning Safety to help train and protect the approximately 20,000 professional window washers in the United States.
It’s estimated that more than 5,000 copies of the standard have been sold and more than 6,700 window cleaning professionals have attended Bright’s training seminars.
“Stefan’s vision for bringing safety education and training to window cleaners has been the driving force behind much of what the IWCA has been able to accomplish,” wrote Jack Evans, owner of 20/20 Window Cleaning of N.C. Inc. and past president of the IWCA.