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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. BIRDSBORO CORPORATION (03/21/75)

decided: March 21, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, INDUSTRIAL BOARD, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY, APPELLEE,
v.
BIRDSBORO CORPORATION, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Industrial Board in case of In Re: Application of Birdsboro Corporation for a Variance to Emergency Lighting Requirements of Section 3 of the Fire and Panic Act and Chapter 27 of the Building Regulations for Protection from Fire and Panic, No. 712-BG-S.

COUNSEL

Charles O. Barto, Jr., with him Killian & Gephart, for appellant.

Joseph M. Hill, Assistant Attorney General, with him Charles S. Solit, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 80]

This is the appeal of the Birdsboro Corporation from an adjudication of the Industrial Board of the Department of Labor and Industry dismissing the appellant's petition for a waiver of or a variance from a requirement that it install an emergency lighting system in a portion of its industrial plant.

Since the hearing below consisted in large part of colloquy among members of the Industrial Board, witnesses

[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 81]

    for the appellant and counsel for both sides, with frequent oblique and mysterious references to prior history, it has been almost impossible to grasp or record an intelligible history of the case. It seems, however, that the industrial plant in question was acquired by Birdsboro Corporation from an agency of the Federal government through the auspices of the Berks County Industrial Development Corporation. It also seems that the certification, apparently of the building's suitability for use, by the Department of Labor and Industry was required as a condition to Birdsboro Corporation's acquisition. Apparently also the Industrial Board of the Department of Labor and Industry gave its certification to this effect, subject to an agreement by Birdsboro Corporation to provide emergency lighting throughout the building. It seems that the Corporation in October 1971 filed plans conforming to the regulations of the Industrial Board for an emergency lighting system as required by Subsection B of Chapter 37 of the Board's regulations found at 34 Pa. Code, §§ 37.11 through 37.33.

A Board regulation at 34 Pa. Code, § 37.24 provides that final plans approved by the Board should be valid for two years.

This case was commenced on July 25, 1973 when the Birdsboro Corporation petitioned the Industrial Board that it be relieved from installing any emergency lighting in a portion only of the building, referred to in the record as bays D and E. The record further establishes that a total of 120 of the Corporation's employes work in bays D and E in the production of cranes and other rolling mill equipment. One hundred and ten persons work during the first shift from 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., seven persons work the second shift, and three security guards are employed during the third shift.

Section 3 of the Act of April 27, 1927, P.L. 465, 35 P.S. § 1223, provides that there shall be installed in the buildings ...


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