Morning Headlines: Butkovitz at Odds with L&I Over Demolition Safety

Photo by Bradley Maule from  June 5, 2013 collapse at 22nd and Market.

Photo by Bradley Maule from June 5, 2013 collapse at 22nd and Market.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz released an audit of L&I’s demolition procedures, and the results weren’t pretty. Neither was Commissioner Carlton Williams’ response to the report, which he characterized as being one big misinterpretation and full of false conclusions. We’re nearing on the one-year anniversary of the collapse at 22nd and Market that killed six people, and no one is happy.

The Daily News‘ William Bender lays it out this morning:

Yesterday, Butkovitz released a blistering audit that alleged a “culture of informality” within L&I, which he said kept shoddy records and waived demolition-inspection requirements without explanation. He also questioned whether L&I actually visited all the sites it claimed its staffers had inspected following the Market Street collapse.

Yikes. According to the audit, Butkovitz could find no supporting documentation for 210 of the department’s 442 demo sites.




Williams blamed a complicated system.

"I think that the system is so complicated and antiquated that it's hard to decipher the information presented," he said. "Ultimately, it led to some misconceptions."

Williams said that the 442 demolition sites were, in fact, inspected and that the inspectors did not skip any steps, as the audit alleged. But he acknowledged that the department needs a better data system.

Bender says L&I's new Project eCLIPSE system is slated to be working by the end of 2015, bringing with it better reporting and accounting.

Is Philly safer? Butkovitz sys no; L&I says he's confused [Daily News]

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Crazy hail damages Berks County Mall [NBC]

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  • kclo3

    The problems at L&I can be partly accredited to a dire shortage of inspectors. For example, the inspector who committed suicide last year in response to the June collapse was assigned to “700 open jobs.” This has led to use of an “honor system” of self-certification which has blatantly ignored safety standards.
    http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/08/by-ralph-cipriano-for-bigtrial.html