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L+I COVID-19 Enforcement

The Director of L+I's Audits and Investigations Unit, Will Fernandez, Esq., emailed every contractor with an email address earlier this week to announce that the Unit will soon be conducting patrols. The Audits and Investigations Unit is responsible for enforcement of the Mayor's COVID-19 requirements for construction sites. To date, enforcement has been complaint-driven.

In an email Mr. Fernandez stated:

"We don’t have an official policy statement regarding this change in inspection strategy—but you may find my attached 5/1/20 letter (“Announcement-Requirements…”) and the attached supporting documents helpful. Some of it is no longer up-to-date, specifically construction is now allowed for permits issued after 3/20/20, and commercial jobsites are allowed to work on the weekends and outside of 7:00 through 5:00. 

Regarding our patrols- in short, an AIU inspector in a marked City car will follow a route (the route will be designed ahead of time on google maps without incorporating any permit data) and perform a basic COVID-19 requirements compliance inspection at each active jobsite they observe. We plan on prioritizing densely populated neighborhoods with many active construction sites. The inspector would not interact with contractors at the jobsites unless it became absolutely necessary—more often than not, the inspector will drive up to the jobsite, take some photographs and notes, and then move on.

If we observe any violations and can determine what contractor is responsible, a Notice of License Violation will be issued to the contractor. A COVID specific violation carries a $2,000 fine. Violations would all be backed up by inspector observations and photographs, and would be appealable to the Board of Licenses and Inspections Review."

Review the documents referred to in Mr. Fernandez's statement below. Members are reminded that the State and City guidance are fluid documents and the requirements are updated and clarified by FAQs often. It is your responsibility to make sure you are in compliance with current requirements.

Announcement-Requirements for Resuming Construction Work on 5-1-2020

Governor’s Guidance for Businesses in the Construction Industry Permitted to Operate During the Covid-19 Disaster Emergency

Mayor's Order Authorizing Certain Construction Activity 4-29-20

PA Department of Health Order Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-Person Operations

Members are reminded to visit the CDC, PA, and City websites, as well as the most recent Mayor's Order, the Requirements for resuming construction activity in Philadelphia, and the Restarting Construction FAQs.

Mitigating Risk of Liability at Construction Sites During COVID-19

If you were not able to attend this meeting earlier today, BIA Member Bill Auxer, Esq. of Kaplin | Stewart presented a very informative session on mitigating the risk of liability at construction cites during COVID-19.

Click here to download the slides. The recording may be accessed using the link and password below.

Meeting Recording:

Access Password: 5.28.2020BIC

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