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R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC Case Study

R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC Case Study

The Determining Factors That Led to the Court’s Conclusion

One of the factors that led to the court’s conclusion was that the company had not instructed employees on how to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions in the work environment despite knowing that there were safety risks that could cause injuries and death. Two employees testified that they had not received training on trench safety. One of the employees added that he was not informed of any rules governing his work and was not given a safety manual (Walsh, 2019). The second factor was Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations on how long a worker should travel to get to a safe exit. According to Schneid (2018), OSHA regulations provide that workers should not travel more than 25 feet before reaching a secure exit point. The exit point should be maintained continually to remove any obstructions so that a worker can quickly exit when a need arises.

Williams Construction Co. only offered one safe point of exit that was located 45 feet, thus exceeding the recommended 25 feet despite knowing that workers were exposed to a dangerous area exceeding 25 feet from a safe exit point. The third factor was the lack of competency assessment to determine whether the workers had specific training required for the job. The court found that the workers had no specific training in protective systems and soil analysis and were not capable of identifying dangerous conditions. The fourth factor was negligence. The court found that the company did not ensure that the excavation walls were either supported or sloped as needed by OSHA regulations. This exposed workers to the risk of cave-ins. Williams Construction Co. also made no effort to prevent workers from entering the trench on the day it collapsed because there was minimum supervision.

The Impact of OSHA Regulations on My Practice as a Human Resources Manager

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) plays a vital role in guaranteeing the safety of employees at the workplace, thus impacting the policies and procedures on how specific tasks in industries and businesses should be completed to avoid exposing employees to safety risks. The Act impacts my practice as a human resource manager by dictating the working conditions I should create for my employees. The Act also impacts my responsibilities as a human resource manager by dictating my role in guaranteeing employee safety in the working environment. According to Reese (2017), the primary duties in providing a healthy and safe working environment include maintaining and providing safe machinery, workplaces, and equipment, using safe work methods, and ensuring that protection measures are taken to eliminate safety risks caused by biological and chemical substances. They also involve giving the necessary training and instructions to staff and managers based on their capacities and functions, offering adequate supervision of work practices, work, and the use and application of occupational safety and health requirements.

The Act also impacts my practice as a human resource manager by influencing employee training and development areas and the specifications of the training program. According to Jain et al. (2018), training on workplace safety focuses on familiarizing employees with safety hazards within the work environment and appropriate responses. I must regularly update training content based on OSHA safety regulation updates. The Act also influences my role in hiring employees based on the regulation on worker competency. I must also ensure that all employees hired to fill a vacant position in the organization have the competence to complete assigned tasks. Additional training may be offered to improve their competence based on the complexity of their assigned tasks.


Jain, A., Leka, S., & Zwetsloot, G. I. (2018). Managing Health, Safety and Well-Being: Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. Springer.

Reese, C. D. (2017). Occupational Safety and Health: Fundamental Principles and Philosophies. CRC Press.

Schneid, T. D. (2018). Occupational Safety and Health Act. Safety Law, 149-158.

Walsh, D. J. (2019). Employment Law for Human Resource Practice (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.


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Unit 6 Assignment ForumUnit 6 Assignment Forum
This week’s assignment forum focuses on the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). This is the sixth assignment forum related to your course project.

R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC Case Study

R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC Case Study

Your unit 6 assignment forum is based on the R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC case study found in Chapter 14 of your textbook. The case involved the violations of OSHA standards that ultimately led to the death of an employee. At issue was the review of violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) in the wake of a trench collapse and the death of an employee at a construction site in Santa Ynez, California. The court denied the review and upheld citations for violations of specific OSHA standards by the construction contractor. You will explore the facts leading up to a decision in this case and evaluate the importance of this ruling to human resources practice and your role as a human resources practitioner.
By the Friday deadline, share your work with the class in this Unit 6 Assignment Forum. By the Sunday deadline, review your classmates’ work and provide at least one (1) reply.
See the Unit 6 Assignment Forum complete instructions and grading rubric. Unit 6 Assignment Forum complete instructions and grading rubric. – Alternative Formats

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