L&I Announces New Rules, Shuts Down 5 Sites in Wake of Building Collapse

In the aftermath of last week’s deadly building collapse, the Department of Licenses and Inspections have stopped work at five demolition sites due to violations.

The Mayor’s Office announced on Tuesday that L&I inspected all of the nearly 300 sites in the city with open demolition permits. The city says that 97 of those sites are active.

During their inspections, L&I issued stop work orders at five sites. The orders prohibit all work at the sites until all violations are corrected and the Department revisits them.

“The Department of Licenses and Inspections is committed to building and construction safety and to the safety of all of citizens of the City of Philadelphia,” said Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams. “After the tragic events of last week, it is necessary to implement heightened controls on private demolition activity to ensure that all demolition sites are safe for adjacent properties, pedestrians, and site workers.”

The following demolition sites were stopped for the following violations:

  • 618 N. 11th Street – Expired contractor license and lapsed insurance
  • 622 N. 11th Street – Expired contractor license and lapsed insurance
  • 200 N. 21st Street – Lapsed Insurance
  • 4720 Chester Avenue – Lapsed workers’ compensation insurance and bracing issues
  • 2042 N. Gratz Street – Work being done beyond the scope of permit and engineering report required

The Mayor’s Office also says the Stop Work Order at 200 N. 21st Street was lifted after the Department received and reviewed the proper insurance certification.

L&I also announced they will increase oversight of private demolition contractors through increased permitting and inspection requirements which will be put in place by the end of this week.

The new demolition permit application will require details about the contractor’s experience and qualifications, a site safety plan for protection of adjacent properties and a detailed work schedule. Officials also say applicants must have proof of insurance, tax clearances and no open L&I violations. They will also be subject to a complete review of their L&I violation and tax compliance history. L&I also announced the following new requirements, rules and policies:

  • An engineering report for the demolition of commercial buildings above three stories
  • Heightened safety reviews for demolition sites prior to the stat of work
  • Site safety review will be conducted by Department inspectors prior to the start of work
  • Stop Work Orders will be issued at sites that don’t provide the required notification of the start of work
  • A Construction Site Task Force will review and audit licensing, permitting and inspections of major construction and demolition sites
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