Authority having jurisdiction

In construction, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is the governmental agency or sub-agency which regulates the construction process. In most cases, this is the municipality in which the building is located. However, construction performed for supra-municipal authorities are usually regulated directly by the owning authority, which becomes the AHJ.
During the planning of a building, the zoning and planning boards of the AHJ will review the overall compliance of the proposed building with the municipal General Plan and zoning regulations. Once the proposed building has been approved, detailed civil, architectural, and structural plans must be submitted to the municipal building department (and sometimes the public works department) to determine compliance with the building code and sometimes for fit with existing infrastructure. Often, the municipal fire department will review the plans for compliance with fire-safety ordinances and regulations.
Before the foundation can be dug, contractors are typically required to verify and have existing utility lines marked, either by the utilities themselves or through a company specializing in such services. This lessens the likelihood of damage to the existing electrical, water, sewage, phone, and cable facilities, which could cause outages and potentially hazardous situations. During the construction of a building, the municipal building inspector inspects the building periodically to ensure that the construction adheres to the approved plans and the local building code. Once construction is complete and a final inspection has been passed, an occupancy permit may be issued.
An operating building must remain in compliance with the fire code. The fire code is enforced by the local fire department.
Changes made to a building that affect safety, including its use, expansion, structural integrity, and fire protection items, usually require approval of the AHJ for review concerning the building code.
Hours. Most employees in the construction industry work full time, and many work over 40 hours a week. In 2008, about 18 percent of construction workers worked 45 hours or more a week. Construction workers may sometimes work evenings, weekends, and holidays to finish a job or take care of an emergency. Rain, snow, or wind may halt construction work. Workers in this industry usually do not get paid if they can't work due to inclement weather.
Work environment. Workers in this industry need physical stamina because the work frequently requires prolonged standing, bending, stooping, and working in cramped quarters. They also may be required to lift and carry heavy objects. Exposure to the weather is common because much of the work is done outside or in partially enclosed structures. Construction workers often work with potentially dangerous tools and equipment amidst a clutter of building materials; some work on temporary scaffolding or at great heights. Consequently, they are more prone to injuries than workers in other jobs. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that many construction trades workers experienced a work-related injury and illness rate that was higher than the national average. In response, employers increasingly emphasize safe working conditions and habits that reduce the risk of injuries. To avoid injury, employees wear safety clothing, such as gloves, hardhats, and devices to protect their eyes, mouth, or hearing, as needed.