Building codes are foundational to ensuring the safety of a structure for construction workers when it is being built, as well as for the safety of those who use it after the structure is completed. Local municipalities have numerous building codes that need to be followed, and state and federal agencies such as OSHA also enforce various regulations.
Without the various building codes and other regulations that government entities impose, there would be far more serious injuries and fatalities during construction projects and after the building is complete. But unfortunately, a lot of building contractors do not see things the same way.
Many contractors view building codes as a nuisance or as “bureaucratic red tape” that causes unnecessary delays and expenses to a construction project. As a result, routine building code violations have become all too common in this industry – putting workers at far greater risk of being injured on the job.
If you or someone close to you was injured on the job because of a building code failure, you may have a right to significant compensation. At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., our Atlanta workplace injury lawyers have been standing up for injured workers for five decades. We have an in-depth understanding of the building code violations that may have caused your injury, and we will thoroughly investigate your case to determine which party (or parties) may have been responsible.
Common Building Code Violations on Construction and Renovation Projects
Somewhere between 40% and 50% of field inspections on construction sites result in a building code violation. Here are some of the most frequent building code failures that are found on project sites according to the Journal of Light Construction (JLC):
- Documentation Missing: One of the simplest building code failures that comes up a lot is not having all of the required documentation on the construction site. Without the necessary documents needed for an inspection, there is no chance of passing it.
- Anchor Bolts Placed Improperly: The biggest offense with footings and foundations is improperly placed foundation anchor bolts. According to experts, this type of violation is largely due to a lack of communication between the framing crew and the concrete crew.
- Braced Wall-Errors: A lot of builders are not familiar with the braced-wall requirements that many municipalities have. The most common violation in this area is braced-wall panels that are missing the blocking.
- Weakened Beams: Many contractors use beams that are not the right size or do not have the proper bearing. This often happens because of a failure to do a structural analysis that would determine how much load the beam could support.
- Stairway Errors: Problems can happen with a stair layout when there is not enough horizontal space to provide adequate headroom. Another common problem with the stairs are the handrails and guardrails, which might not be the right height, or their connection to the stairs might not be secure enough.
- Inadequate or Missing Fire Blocking: It is very important that fire blocking codes are followed as they help slow the spread of smoke and flames in the event of a fire. This means cutting off the concealed draft openings between all horizontal and vertical cavities, which keeps them separate from each other. Unfortunately, framers sometimes miss openings that should be blocked, increasing the risk of a fire.
There are countless other building code violations that can jeopardize the safety of a project. They include violations of plumbing codes, electrical codes, energy codes, life safety codes, deck building codes, and mechanical or fuel gas systems.
Liability for Building Code Failure Injuries on a Construction Project
When an injury happens on a construction site because of a building code violation, the fault usually lies with a contractor or any number of subcontractors who are working on the project. Each case is unique, and an extensive investigation will be needed to determine who the responsible party is.
If a worker in Georgia is injured because of the actions of their employer, then they will normally be covered by workers’ compensation. But if the building code violation was the fault of a subcontractor or someone else other than the employer or a coworker, then the worker can file a personal injury claim directly against the responsible party. This opens the door for a higher amount of compensation, which can include damages for intangible losses such as pain-and-suffering and emotional trauma.
Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. to Discuss Your Georgia Construction Accident Injury Claim
If you or someone close to you has been injured because of a building code failure on a construction site, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help! Call our Atlanta office today at 678-981-5370 or message us online for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.