§ 9-1306  Special Inspection Agencies and Special Inspectors. 1101
   (1)   Declaration of Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to provide standards for persons or agencies who perform special inspections on construction and demolition sites as required by the Building Code. The City recognizes that inadequately trained special inspectors can jeopardize public health and safety. Registered special inspection agencies and special inspectors will ensure that contractors comply with applicable industry codes and safety, therefore, the establishment of standards and qualifications for special inspection agencies and special inspectors are necessary to protect the public.
   (2)   Definitions.
      (a)   Approved Construction Documents. Any and all documents that set forth the location and entire nature and extent of construction work proposed with sufficient clarity and detail to show that the proposed work conforms to the provisions of this code and other applicable laws. Such documents will include but not be limited to shop drawings, specifications, manufacturer's instructions and standards that have been accepted by the design professional of record or such other design professional retained by the owner for this purpose.
      (b)   Materials. Materials, assemblies, appliances, equipment, devices, systems, products and methods of construction regulated in their use by the Building Code.
      (c)   Registered Design Professional. A Pennsylvania licensed and registered architect (RA) or a Pennsylvania licensed and registered professional engineer (PE).
      (d)   Registered Design Professional of Record. The registered design professional who prepared or supervised the preparation of applicable construction documents filed with the department.
      (e)   Relevant Experience. Direct participation and practice related to the underlying construction or demolition activities that are the subject of the special inspection where such participation has led to accumulation of knowledge and skill required for the proper execution of such inspection.
      (f)   Special Inspection. Inspection of selected materials, equipment, installation, methods of construction, fabrication, erection or placement of components and connections, to ensure compliance with approved construction documents and referenced standards as required by Chapter 17 of the Building Code or elsewhere in the code or its referenced standards.
      (g)   Special Inspection Agency. An approved inspection agency employing one (1) or more persons who are special inspectors and that has met all requirements of this Section.
      (h)   Special Inspector. An individual employed by a special inspection agency, who has the required qualifications set forth in this Section to perform or witness particular special inspections required by the code or by regulation, including but not limited to a qualified registered design professional.
      (i)   Supervise/Supervision. The oversight and responsible control by a registered design professional having the necessary qualifications and relevant experience to perform responsibilities associated with the special inspection. Such supervision shall include ensuring training and/or education necessary to qualify the special inspector for his or her duties, including continued training and education necessary to keep pace with developing technology.
      (j)   Work. The construction or demolition activity including techniques, tests, materials and equipment that is subject to special inspection.
   (3)   Registration of Special Inspection Agencies and Special Inspectors. 1102
      (a)   General. All agencies performing special inspections must be registered with the department as a special inspection agency for each of the special inspection categories with respect to which the agency intends to perform special inspections. Individuals performing special inspections on behalf of agencies must be registered for, and must hold and maintain the qualifications associated with, each category with respect to which the individual performs special inspections.
      (b)   Form and Manner of Registration. An application for registration must be submitted in a form and manner determined by the Department and must provide such information as the Department may require.
      (c)   Qualifications. To be registered in connection with a particular special inspection category, special inspection agencies shall meet the qualifications established by this Section.
         (.1)   Experience. An agency must submit documentation that it employs one or more special inspectors registered within the area of expertise for which the agency seeks to be registered.
         (.2)   Exception for Accredited Agencies. An agency meeting one or more of the following accreditation standards shall not be required to comply with subsection (c)(.1):
            (.a)   The agency maintains current accreditation as a special inspection agency by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) in that registration area;
            (.b)   The agency maintains current accreditation from an established accreditation entity as a special inspection agency in accordance with ASTM E329, Standard Specification for Agencies Engaged in Construction Inspection and/or Testing; or
            (.c)   The agency maintains current accreditation from an established accreditation entity in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization/International Electro-technical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17020, The General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection.
         (.3)   The agency must demonstrate that it meets the requirements of subsections (3)(d) and (e).
      (c.1)   Special inspectors must meet the relevant qualifications of subsection 9-1306(7) to be registered in a special inspection category. Those registered must hold and maintain the qualifications associated with the category for which they are registered.
      (d)   Insurance. All special inspection agencies must have the following insurance coverage:
         (.1)   Professional liability/errors and omissions insurance policy for the minimum amount of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), claim-based, for the term of the registration.
         (.2)   Insurance required by the provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation laws.
      (e)   Agency Structure. A special inspection agency must have at least one primary operational manager who is a registered design professional or a registered special inspector and all special inspections must be performed under that person's direct supervision. Such person must not be retained by any other agency that provides special inspection or testing services, must possess relevant experience in the inspection and testing industry and hold a management position in the agency.
      (f)   Audits. The operations of special inspectors and special inspection agencies will be subject to audit by the department at any time. Audits may involve the examination of applications for registration as well as the performance and documentation of special inspections.
      (g)   Registration Term. The term of a registration is three (3) years.
      (h)   Renewal. Registration renewal may be precluded where there has been a finding by the Department that any special inspection or test conducted by the special inspector or special inspection agency has not been performed in accordance with the requirements set forth in the code, applicable reference standards or the rules of the department, or where there has been a finding by the Department of fraud or misrepresentation on any document or report submitted to the department by the special inspector or special inspection agency. No special inspector or special inspection agency will perform an inspection or test with an expired or lapsed registration.
   (4)   Duties.
      (a)   Availability and Compliance. A special inspector and/or special inspection agency shall have responsibilities as set forth in Chapter 17 of the Building Code and elsewhere in the Codes where special inspections are required.
      (b)   Obligation to Avoid Conflict of Interest. A special inspector and/or a special inspection agency must not engage in any activities that may conflict with their objective judgment and integrity, including but not limited to having a financial and/or other interest in the construction, installation, manufacture or maintenance of structures or components that they inspect. It is not, in and of itself, a conflict of interest for a registered design professional of record to perform a special inspection on the project he or she designed.
      (c)   Approved Construction Documents. The special inspector and/or special inspection agency shall:
         (.1)   Examine all approved construction documents that relate to the work that is the subject of the special inspections.
         (.2)   Confirm that the documents are sufficient to enable the proper performance of the special inspection.
         (.3)   Confirm that the documents are acceptable to the registered design professional of record or another design professional who prepared the documents for the construction of the job. Acceptance shall be demonstrated in writing by the design professional on the documents.
         (.4)   Confirm that the work that is the subject of the special inspection is in compliance with all relevant approved construction documents and with Chapter 17 of the Building Code and the remainder of Title 4.
      (d)   Reporting. The special inspection agency shall report any discrepancies noted during the inspection to the contractor and when applicable to the superintendent of construction, as well as to the site safety coordinator or site safety manager, for correction. If the discrepancies are not corrected, the discrepancies shall be brought to the attention of the owner, and the registered design professional of record prior to the completion of that phase of the work. The special inspector/special inspection agency shall immediately report conditions noted as hazardous to life, safety or health, to the attention of the Department. 1103
      (e)   Documentation.
         (.1)   The supervisor shall review special inspection progress reports and final reports for conformance with the approved plans, specifications and workmanship provisions of Chapter 17 of the Building Code and the remainder of Title 4. Such supervision and control shall be evidenced by the supervisor's signature and seal upon any required statements, applications and/or reports.
         (.2)   The principal of the special inspection agency shall file with the department within ten (10) days of satisfactory completion of any special inspection, notice of such completion on the forms and in the manner required by the department.
         (.3)   A special inspection agency shall maintain records of special inspections on a job-by-job basis for at least seven (7) years and shall make such records available to the department upon request. Such records shall include field logs, test results, laboratory reports, notes, noted deficiencies and dates of cures of such deficiencies, photographs and such other information as may be appropriate to establish the sufficiency of the special inspection.
      (f)   Obligation to Cooperate with Inquiries. All special inspectors and/or special inspection agencies shall cooperate in any investigation by the department, or other city or law enforcement agency, into the activities at any job site or fabricating/ manufacturing facility for which they have been designated a special inspector or special inspection agency and shall provide prompt, accurate and complete responses to reasonable inquiries by the department and other appropriate agencies about the conduct of such business.
      (g)   All special inspection agencies must ensure that the special inspectors employed by the agency meet the qualification requirements set forth in this Section and perform special inspections only within the area of expertise for which such special inspectors are qualified. 1104
   (5)   Disciplinary Actions.
      (a)   Suspension or Revocation of Registration and Refusal to Accept Filings. The Department may suspend or revoke a special inspection agency registration, with or without the imposition of penalties, for violation of any provision of the code. The Department may refuse to accept any application or other document submitted pursuant to or in satisfaction of any requirement of this Section or of Chapter 17 of the Building Code or any regulation of any agency that bears the signature of any special inspector who has been found to have knowingly or negligently made a false statement or to have knowingly or negligently falsified or allowed to be falsified any certificate, form, signed statement, application, report or certification of the correction of a violation required under the provisions of this Chapter, the code or any regulation.
      (b)   Stop Work and Suspension of Permits. Upon any suspension or revocation of registration, unless replaced by another registered special inspector and/or special inspection agency within five (5) business days of such suspension or revocation, all construction or demolition projects on which the special inspector and/or special inspection agency whose registration was suspended or revoked is designated, shall be stopped and the permits shall be suspended until such time as a duly registered special inspector and/or special inspection agency is designated to re-inspect such tests or such inspections performed by the disciplined special inspection agency.
   (6)   Penalties. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Title, any person who violates any provision of this Section or any regulation adopted pursuant to this Section shall have committed a Class II offense and be subject to the fines set forth in subsection 1-109(2) of The Philadelphia Code. The penalties set forth herein are in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed under any other law.
   (7)   Special Inspection Categories and Qualifications. 1105 Special inspection work in the following area regulated by Chapters 17 and 33 of the Building Code requires registration pursuant to this Section. Engineers and/or Geologists-in-Training licensed with the State of Pennsylvania shall be under the direct supervision of the registered engineer for the specific field of inspection listed.
      (a)   Demolition. Qualifications to be registered to perform special inspections of demolition activities.
         (.1)   Primary Inspector or Inspection Supervisor: Must be a professional engineer (Civil or Structural) and have a minimum of one year relevant experience.
         (.2)   To be a Supplemental Inspector, must work under the direct supervision of a Primary Inspector or Inspection Supervisor and:
            (.a)   Must have completed a 30-hour program designed by the United States Occupational, Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") under its Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry for additional training of supervisors and workers and have a minimum of 3 (three) years of relevant experience; or
            (.b)   Must have certification/ approval of completion of an OSHA course regarding 29 C.F.R. 1926 Subpart T - Demolition standards and applicable 29 C.F.R. 1910 standard and have a minimum of 3 (three) years of relevant experience.
      (b)   Underpinning. Qualifications to be registered to perform special inspections of the underpinning of structures.
         (.1)   Primary Inspector or Inspection Supervisor: Must be a professional engineer (Civil or Structural) and have a minimum of one year relevant experience.
         (.2)   To be a Supplemental Inspector, working under the direct supervision of an Inspection Supervisor, must have a Bachelor's Degree in Civil or Structural Engineering from an accredited institution or an equivalent degree and a minimum of two years of relevant experience.
      (c)   The Department is authorized to develop regulations regarding the qualifications of individuals authorized to perform special inspections in special inspection categories pursuant to requirements of the Building Code.

 

Notes

1101
   Added, Bill No. 130685 (approved February 19, 2014), effective within 18 months (August 19, 2015). Enrolled bill did not designate a Section number; added as Section 9-1306 at the discretion of the Code editor.
1102
   Amended, Bill No. 150472 (approved June 30, 2015).
1103
   Amended, Bill No. 150472 (approved June 30, 2015).
1104
   Added, Bill No. 150472 (approved June 30, 2015).
1105
   Added, Bill No. 150472 (approved June 30, 2015).