Mayor Kenney Issues New Requirements to Allow for Construction Activities to Resume in Philadelphia

Written by: Natalie Klyashtorny


Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that all businesses in the construction industry would be allowed to resume in-person activities in Pennsylvania as of May 1, 2020 on the condition that they strictly adhere to certain safety and social distancing guidelines.  The Governor’s Order provided that that local governments may elect to impose more stringent requirements and businesses in the construction industry would then be required to adhere to the more stringent requirements. 

Yesterday, Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney issued an Order, imposing certain additional restrictions on construction activity in the City of Philadelphia. 

Construction activity in Philadelphia may resume only as to projects for which either a demolition or building permit was issued on or before March 20, 2020.  The only construction activity allowed for projects for which permits were issued after March 20th would be to abate emergencies. 

Construction in Philadelphia may start at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020, taking place only on Mondays through Fridays between the hours of 7:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.  In other words, no work may be performed on weekends or before 7:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays unless required by emergency. 

No construction work in Philadelphia will be allowed on the interior of residential structures except emergency repairs.  For multi-family buildings or portions thereof, no work in Philadelphia will be permitted within any occupied dwelling unit or within any shared common area except for emergency repairs.

Underpinning work, demolition of attached structures, and projects in Philadelphia that require the support of an existing party wall will be prohibited unless written authorization is given by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (“L&I”). 

All work in Philadelphia must be performed in conformance with all of Governor Wolf’s previous Orders on Covid-19 related safety issues, including last week’s specific Order pertaining to the construction industry and applicable guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”). 

The Pandemic Safety Officer required for each job site in Philadelphia by the Governor’s guidance for construction, must obtain a Covid-19 training certificate from one of the training sources designated by L&I on its website.  The Pandemic Safety Officer is responsible for conveying, implementing, and enforcing the masking, social distancing, sanitization, and other requirements for the protection of employees, suppliers, and other personnel at the job site.  A Covid-19 Safety Plan must be maintained at every job site and should outline the site’s plans for complying with all applicable orders and guidance and educating workers on safety precautions and measures to mitigate the risk of spreading Covid-19.  Such a plan should be available to be produced upon request by L&I.  

Workers at job sites in Philadelphia must also be allowed to take any sick or other leave available to them.

Violation of the Mayor’s Order could result in issuance of violation notices, Stop Work Orders, imposition of fines, the revocation or suspension of licenses, “and any other remedies”. 

If you have questions about the new requirements for construction activities in Philadelphia, please feel free to contact us at contact@nochumson.com and an attorney at Nochumson P.C. will immediately reach out to you to schedule a free consultation.