Contractors working in Philadelphia need to have a valid license and follow operational requirements. This page outlines the regulations related to contractors and contracting work in Philadelphia.
Contractor Code of Conduct
All contractors operating in Philadelphia must follow the requirements laid out in the Contractor Code of Conduct.
OSHA training requirements
All contractors, including specialized and home improvement contractors and their subcontractors need to have safety training.
All workers on a construction or demolition site must complete a basic training course. The course must be OSHA 10 Construction provided by an authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer or an approved alternative. Contractors must keep proof of training on the job site.
- This includes trades contractors and registered PA home improvement contractors.
- This requirement does not apply to:
- Delivery people.
- Design professionals and their staff.
- Special inspectors.
- Workers that aren’t doing permit-regulated construction or demolition.
Contractors, Excavation Contractors, and Demolition Contractors must identify at least one supervisory employee who has completed OSHA 30 Construction Safety and Health provided by an authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer or an approved alternative. The contractor must submit proof of training with the license application or renewal and the course must have been completed within the 5 years preceding license application or renewal.
This does not apply to:
- Plumbing contractors.
- Electrical contractors.
- Fire suppression contractors.
- Registered PA home improvement contractors (with no separate Philadelphia License).
When renewing the license, the supervisor can take 30 continuing education hours in construction or demolition safety instead of retaking the OSHA 30 course if the department has already accepted an OSHA 30 Construction Safety and Health certificate.
The course must be completed in the 5 years prior to license renewal. The provider must be approved by the PA Department of Labor and Industry and proof of completion must be submitted with the renewal application.
In addition to completing the OSHA 30 Construction Safety and Health course, an Excavation Contractor must employ a site safety manager who has also completed the OSHA 3015 Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics Course or an approved alternative.
OSHA 3015 may only be provided through an OSHA Training Institute Education Center. Regional courses are offered through the Mid-Atlantic OTI Education Center and additional course offerings are provided through TEEX OTI Education Center.
When renewing the license, the supervisor can take 20 continuing education hours in excavation, trenching, and soil mechanics instead of retaking the OSHA 3015 course if the department has already accepted an OSHA 3015 Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics certificate.
The course must be completed in the 5 years prior to license renewal. The provider must be approved by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, and proof of completion must be submitted with the renewal application.
Continuing education hours in excavation, trenching, and soil mechanics may also apply toward the requirement for OSHA 30 Construction Safety and Health.
Site safety managers for major projects
A site safety manager must oversee any new construction, structural alteration, or demolition of a building that is:
- More than three stories tall
- 40 feet in height
- Or with a footprint larger than 10,000 square feet.
The designated site safety manager(s) must have completed OSHA 30 Construction Safety and Health provided by an authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer or an approved alternative. The contractor must submit any site safety managers to the building inspector before work starts.
Alternative training programs
Requirements for alternative training programs
L&I can approve training programs as alternatives to OSHA training. These training programs must be in construction site safety, excavation, trenching, or soil mechanics. They must meet these criteria:
- The course provider must be on the PA Department of Labor and Industry’s eligible training provider list or otherwise approved by the department.
- The course’s outline must have objectives, topics, and training time that meet or exceed the relevant OSHA training.
- The training provider must issue a course completion certificate to participants. L&I must be able to verify the certificate.
- The training costs must not significantly exceed OSHA training costs unless otherwise approved by L&I.
- The course provider must have a quality control plan. The plan must include:
- The organizational structure of the company.
- The credentials of trainers.
- A quality assurance program.
- OSHA 3015 alternatives must:
- Include an examination.
- Identify a passing grade for certification.
- Provide at least one opportunity to retest.
To submit a program for consideration, email documentation to email@example.com.
Approved alternative training programs
L&I has approved the following programs as alternatives to OSHA training:
- PALM Built-Rite (for building trades)
- The department hasn’t approved any equivalent alternatives.
Philadelphia contractors and trade licensees must provide the department with the name of each subcontractor that is working under their permits within three days of the commencement of any work authorized by that permit.
Refer to the how-to guide for step-by-step instructions to do this in eCLIPSE.
All contractors named on a construction permit must have current insurance on file with L&I. This must include the minimum coverage determined by the Law Department and the risk manager for:
- Workers compensation
- Comprehensive general liability
- Motor vehicle liability
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) offers a number of tools to help contractors do business in the City.
- Contractor lookup tool: Search permits by contractor
- Permit lookup tool: Find permit applications and review their status.
- eCLIPSE: Apply for licenses online.
- Atlas: Find property-based information.
- Tax compliance tool: Find out if you are up-to-date on your City taxes.