Ryan Briggs Ryan Briggs is a staff writer and connoisseur of City Hall intrigue, business dealings, neighborhood gossip and local lore. Ryan has studied, worked and resided in Philadelphia since 2004, covering politics and development issues for Hidden City, Next City and Metropolis, amongst other fine publications.
Over the last week, City Council has held a series of hearings on a bill aimed at boosting the city's safety regulations in the wake of this year's devestating building collapse. Much of the bill is devoted to improving the relationship between the Fire Department and the Department of Licenses & Inspections, as well as improving work-site signage. But a City Paper reader pointed out that one section of the bill contains a surprisingly far-reaching regulation that would require all construction workers to obtain special ID cards from L&I.
The ID card would indicate that the worker had attended a 10-hour OSHA training course on workplace safety, which is also mandated by the bill for everyone working at a construction site. The "wallet-sized cards" would also include "the name of the applicant, a recent photograph of the applicant ... an issue date, an expiration date, and the level of training completed."
There is an element of logic to the requirement, but Philadelphia's large immigrant community, which is already averse to many forms of mandatory identification for a wide variety of reasons, would likely be disproportionately affected by the legislation, raising questions about its enforceability. It also sets an unusually high bar for entry for relatively low-level construction jobs by requiring the ID for all construction sites, not just high-rise projects or those involving demolition work. A fee for the card is not mentioned in the bill, but neither is a funding source for the program. Presumably the city would incur some costs from issuing tens of thousands of IDs.
The bill is still making its way through Council, so stay tuned for more details.
Icepack Illustrated: Kroll, Starr, Thicke, etc.
If Icepack Illustrated looks a little short this week, it’s due to some physical health issues...
See Braille street art in its unnatural environment — a gallery
Back in August we wrote about Braille street art, the product of a special partnership between...
Huge horror-movie convention happening near Philly this weekend
In its 27th installment, Monster-Mania Con, one of the largest horror-film and memorabilia...