Here is a fantastic article that explains issues with steel columns. I see these A LOT in new homes and older homes. Sadly, I see them in home where they don't have a proper footing under them and are not attached at either end and rely on the weight of the structure to hold them in place. Read on and be safe with your home.
Adjustable Steel Columns
by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard
Adjustable steel columns, also known as screw jacks and beam jacks, are hollow steel posts designed to provide structural support. An attached threaded adjustment mechanism is used to adjust the height of the post.
A few facts about adjustable steel columns:
Hitting Home Blog
Jon Bronemann - author of "The Hitting Home" blog. Check it out and you will see what I see everyday and why hiring a quality contractor is so very, very important. Seeing is believing and it really does "Hit Home".