Post-building collapse panel releases recommendations for L&I

A year-long investigation by a blue ribbon panel into the city's Department of Licenses & Inspections following the June 5, 2013 fatal building collapse that killed six and injured 14, has recommended sweeping changes to the agency.

Mayor Michael Nutter speaks at a memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of the building collapse at 22nd and Market St. that killed six people. Credit: Charles Mostoller/METRO On June 5, 2014, Mayor Michael Nutter speaks at a memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of the building collapse at 22nd and Market St. that killed six people a year prior. Credit: Charles Mostoller/METRO

 

A year-long investigation by a blue ribbon panel into the city's Department of Licenses & Inspections following the June 5, 2013 fatal building collapse that killed six and injured 14, has recommended sweeping changes to the agency.

 

"The building collapse weighs on all of us on a daily basis," Mayor Michael Nutter said at a press conference where he officially received the report, adding that these recommendations are in part to try and prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again.

 

 
Nutter became emotional recalling that one of the dead on June 5 was Anne Bryant, daughter of city treasurer Nancy Winkler, mentioning that he was the one who broke the news to Winkler.

"This has ripped a big hole in my heart," he said. "We never forget what happened, but we have work to do and we have a job to get done."

L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said the agency's workers shouldn't fear for their jobs.

"L&I employees are diligent and tough and they believe in what they do," he said. "Any time they see recommendations in a report like this, it only helps strengthens their resolve to do better."

The panel recommends:

Splitting L&I into a Department of Buildings and Department of Business Compliance.

Doubling the number of L&I inspectors to 150

Hiring a chief safety officer and a director of vacant and abandoned properties

Shifting responsibility for inspecting fire code violations to the Fire Department

Switching the supervision of L&I from under the "commerce" of Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger to "safety" under Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison.

Nutter will immediately enact this last recommendation via executive order, he announced at the press conference.

Nutter is also creating an implementation task force to study how to implement the reforms recommended by this report and requesting their response be delivered by the end of 2014.

 
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