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Business Employment Law (R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC) - Assignment Example

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Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC is a case involving injury of two employees in the workplace. The respondent, Williams, maintained the construction site at Chumash Casino Project, Santa Ynez, California, where it was building a sewer system. The regulating Occupational…
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Business Employment Law (R. Williams Construction Co. v. OSHRC)
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Download file to see previous pages In September 2002, Jose Aguiniga, an employee of Williams was killed when an underground system he was cleaning caved-in at the Santa Ynez worksite. Subsequently the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received the information and immediately embarked on the site assessment (Silverstein, 2008). As the consequence of that assessment, the Commission served citations on the construction company claiming violations of the Act. The respondent acted by filing with the Commission, their contest against the findings. In January 2004, the Commission heard the case in Santa Barbara, California.
The legal issue in Williams was whether the respondent violated the safety standards under Section 651-678 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1970, which if proven, would be the cause in fact of the injury upon the employees (Walsh, 2012). The regulator alleged that Williams had violated the safety standards leading to the loss of life of one employee and serious injury upon the person of another.
First, Williams breached the OSH Act 1970 by digging a narrow and poorly maintained trench measuring 12 feet deep at the construction site. Although the upper walls of the trench were slanting outwards, the deeper, lower part was not properly reinforced to avoid a possible cave-in. Second, Williams failed to remind its employees about the safety measures they should observe while working on the site. The employees who were injured had been regularly doing a clean-up of the submersible pump placed on the floor of trench without any significant protective gear or knowledge (Walsh, 2012).
Williams was unsuccessful in its claims that every employee was supposed to observe their own safety in the workplace because its behavior was negligent. The company’s leadership failed to demonstrate the behavior of a reasonable person acting under similar circumstances. Williams was negligent in its deployment of employees in risky working conditions, with clear ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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