OSHA CeritifcationsOSHA CeritifcationsAs part of the reaction to the tragic loss of life when a demolition contractor caused a building collapse at 22nd and Market Streets approximately 2 years ago, Philadelphia City Council passed a new city ordinance imposing licensure requirements for demolition contractors. That law, which was signed by Mayor Nutter, also imposed a new training requirement for some contractors to obtain and keep their contractor’s license.
The City of Philadelphia is reminding contractor’s that changes to the code requiring OSHA certifications to carry a license will go into effect on September 30, 2015. More specifically, contractors that are required to carry a license to work in the City of Philadelphia must show completion of an extended course of training “certified by the Department to provide significant public safety benefit, appropriate to the position, which course may include OSHA 30 training”. The only carve out in the ordinance for this particular requirement is for plumbers, fire suppression and fire suppression contractors, and electricians when any of those trades are not serving as general contractors. The exception exists because of pre-existing training requirements in those fields.
The language in the law is not entirely clear. It suggests that courses which are the equivalent of an OSHA approved class can be approved, but no information is provided as to what other programs are available. Questions surrounding who decides what is equivalent also remain. These questions, however, will not delay implementation of the law. As a result, contractors should be aware and seek out OSHA certified training that provides the applicable OSHA 10 Hour or OSHA 30 Hour Certifications. These are the only programs that are known to be compliant.
Plan ahead and ensure these licenses are obtained, as the ordinance also provides a plethora of remedies up to and including criminal prosecution for violations. Since the City remains diligent about the issue given recent events, they are likely to pay close attention to enforcing this law.