Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA) – On June 5, 2013, a four-story building getting demolished on historical Market Street in Philadelphia collapsed onto the one-story Salvation Army Thrift Store next door. Half a dozen people were killed as well as 14 individuals were injured.
Following a comprehensive investigation of the collapse, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) traced the reason back to reduction of critical structural supports among some other construction safety violations as well as failing to obtain an engineering evaluation of the building.
In the wake of the demolition traumatic events, Mayor Michael Nutter, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L+I) along with the Philadelphia City Council come up with considerable adjustments in the city’s demolition standards as well as building construction code, which include a stronger collaboration with OSHA to enhance construction and also worksite safety.
Site Safety Demolition Plans
Contractors should submit, as an element of their demolition permit application, a site safety demolition program or maybe comprehensive engineering survey created by a “competent person” who is in a position of determining existing and foreseeable dangers. The plan requires into consideration the work place, adjoining properties along with the public. The party documenting the site safety plan should have training in the last 5 years in a course accredited by L+I to provide necessary public safety benefit.
In the course of any construction or perhaps demolition of a significant building, a site safety manager with OSHA 30-hour construction safety training (or city-certified equivalent) needs to be present and supervising operations. This person would be to have both the expertise as well as the authority to immediately eliminate hazardous working conditions. An essential building is considered as more than 3 stories high or perhaps 10,000 sq. ft. of lot space.
In addition, fire department battalion chiefs currently have the authority to issue stop work orders at construction or perhaps demolition sites when they identify a violation of the fire code or possibly any other condition that exposes a quick danger to life or property.
To more protect public safety on construction or maybe demolition sites, independent contractors should now have completed OSHA 30-hour training. In the same manner, all personnel on a job site, no matter their position, should have accomplished the OSHA 10-hour construction safety course or simply equivalent training.
Formal Training for City Personnel
Recognizing that city workers should have the training required to recognize worker and public safety concerns, inspectors and code officials now should take part in a formal training program which includes, at a minimum, OSHA 30-hour training.
Another safety provision now needs city code inspectors to refer an surveillance of personnel safety violations to OSHA. In accordance with OSHA, because of this referral-assisted activity and L+I stop work orders on imminently dangerous situations (between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014) around 170 workers were taken off potentially dangerous worksites.