February 20, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed four Bills, which enact changes to the Department of Licenses and Inspections’ (L&I) regulation of construction and demolition. The Bills (Bill No. 130685, Bill No. 130691-A, Bill No. 130698-A, and Bill No. 130847-A) amend the requirements for licenses, inspections, permits, training for L&I inspectors, construction safeguards and demolition procedures. The Bills will take effect immediately, unless otherwise noted in the legislation.
“In the wake of the Market Street building collapse tragedy, our Administration and City Council have worked together to strengthen oversight and safety protocols for the Department of Licenses and Inspections. The bills I have signed are an important first step in an on-going process. Public safety is a daily concern of this Administration and we will do everything we can to ensure a safe City for all,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank City Council’s Special Investigative Committee on Demolition Practices and its Committee Chair, Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., for their critical work on its report and this legislative package.”
L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said, “The Department of Licenses and Inspections commends City Council for their hard work in passing legislation that will improve public safety and increase oversight on dangerous construction and demolition sites in the City of Philadelphia. The legislation provides the Department with additional enforcement tools that will be used to ensure that public safety remains paramount on demolition jobs. Many of the reforms set forth by Council have already been adopted by the Department and we look forward to expand our oversight of construction and demolition jobs to ensure that citizens are protected.”
This legislative package implements numerous reforms to the construction and demolition process. Notable features from each of the Bills are as follows:
Bill No. 130685
Provides for permit reforms and regulates special inspection agencies and special agency inspectors charged with monitoring safety at demolition and construction sites.
Bill No. 130691-A
Establishes a thorough set of standards to regulate the means and methods of performing demolitions to ensure safety. Implements permit reforms requiring thorough safety documentation and special third party site supervision or site safety inspections.
Bill No. 130698-A
Sets forth new permitting requirements for demolition, including a thorough site safety plan. Codifies certain training standards for City inspectors. Imposes insurance requirements on demolition permit applicants.
Bill No. 130847-A
Implements standards of signage at construction and demolition sites. Provides for Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) training or other safety training for workers at construction and demolition sites and associated safety requirements. Also, would require information sharing between City departments (L&I, Police, Fire, Philly 311, etc.).
Bill No. 130688-A, which requires contractors that engage in demolition work to be specially licensed, requires technical amendment.