Philly toughens up demolition regs to improve public safety
Potential unsafe practices reported to city weeks before fatal collapse
In the wake of a building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 others, Philadelphia has moved swiftly to tighten regulations on contractors who work on demolitions.
News sources report that nearly a month before the collapse, a city resident called the Philly 311 helpline to report concerns about the safety of demolition workers and pedestrians walking near the building that was being demolished.
That call ran up against a Philadelphia reality: light regulations on city demolition contractors. That’s about to change.
New regulations that have been announced by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the Department of Licenses and Inspection include:
- Inspectors must visit all active demolition sites check safety conditions and any other possible violations.
- All new permit applications for complete demolition must now include information on the experience and qualifications of the contractor performing the demolition and the company owner.
- The contractor must provide a site-safety plan detailing how the contractor plans to protect pedestrians and adjacent properties
- The contractor may have no active violations and all previous violations must be reviewed.
- The Department of Licenses and Inspection is now required to investigate all complaints within 48 hours
The 300 demolition projects currently underway in Philadelphia are already feeling the effects of the changes in the form of increased inspections.