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CHICAGO-Nearly three months after a John Hancock Building scaffolding accident that killed three persons, the city is moving to regulate that portion of the property management business. A proposed ordinance before the city council requires permits and sets down regulations for scaffolding companies.

High winds sent a window-washing scaffold down to Michigan Avenue, killing three persons traveling in a car.

A permit would be required for any scaffolding in the Central Business District more than 40 feet above grade, and 80 feet above grade outside the Central Business District. The $50 permits would be good for one year, but those taking them out would be required to provide a schedule of scaffolding work.

However, the costs wouldn’t end there. Licensed structural engineers would have to certify that the scaffolding equipment is sound. Re-certification would be required for jobs taking more than six months. Also, insurance with liability limits of at least $1 million per occurrence would be required.

Penalties for violating the ordinance could hit $10,000 each.

In addition to regulating scaffolding work, the ordinance also sets down maintenance standards and inspection requirements for exposed metal structures, such as sign standards, marquees, fire escapes and flagpoles.

The law would require the scaffold equipment to be lowered and secured during high winds, and properly secured if not in use for more than two hours.

“This ordinance will make it clear that the owners and operators of this equipment must understand the rules and abide by them, or there will be consequences,” says Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Officials at the Chicago officials of the Building Owners and Managers Association did not return telephone calls seeking comment on the proposed ordinance.

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