Examination of Building Codes
Many preventable injuries occur at buildings due to violations of our state building code. These injuries often occur near or at exits, corridors and doorways. In these instances, the building code can be helpful in identifying unsafe conditions that would assist in holding building owners accountable to injured individuals.
Where the code refers to exits, it includes entrances and those portions of the building which serve as passageways from the interior of the building to a place of safe dispersal outside the building. Originally, the purpose of the code was to assure that there were no hazards or obstructions which would impair the pedestrian from exiting the building in case of emergency. Because of the risk of injury associated with steps, stairs, ramps and other physical changes of the walkway surface, the purpose was later modified to provide minimum standards of safety for the use of theses facilities regardless of the circumstances.
The code requires that corridors have a minimum width of 36 to 44 inches depending on the occupancy. Hospitals and similar institutions must have wider hallways and corridors to accommodate gurneys and beds. The corridor must be illuminated at a minimum level of incident lighting whenever the building is occupied. There can be no obstructions projecting into the corridor which reduce the width of the corridor to less than the specifications in the code. Obstructions can be accumulated debris, furniture or architectural features such as ducting, utility chases, corbels or valances. There are no requirements for the type of flooring or floor covering material nor is there any requirement for a minimum level of traction or coefficient of friction.
If your premises liability situation meets all the requirements above, our team at the Law Office of Steven R. Whitman can help.
In cases like these, we also urge you to photograph the scene of the accident and notify the local building department of the violation, so they can come to the property and confirm what happened. For legal help any step of the way, call us at (617) 227-8118 or contact us online.
We are ready to discuss your case during a free consultation.