Safety Fines for Olé Mexican Food Facility

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 @ 02:12 PM gHale

Olé Mexican Foods Inc. is facing $151,030 in fines for two repeat, 14 serious and four other-than-serious safety and health violations following a June complaint inspection at the company’s corporate headquarters in Norcross, GA, according to officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Olé Mexican Foods is a tortilla manufacturing facility that mixes and produces flour and corn dough to make tortillas, tostadas and chips for restaurant distribution.

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“This employer received citations for the same hazards earlier and did not correct them. Additionally, amputation and caught-in hazards remained, posing a risk of serious injury or even death for their workers,” said William Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “These hazards must be eliminated immediately from the workplace.”

The repeat violations, with $77,000 in penalties, involve failing to ensure workers performing equipment servicing and maintenance understood the energy control program and procedures and those for caught-in and amputation hazards from the points of operation on equipment in the production area. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced the same violations in 2011.

The serious safety and health violations, totaling $73,030 in penalties, involve failing to clearly and specifically outline the energy control procedures for all energy sources on the mixers and production equipment; instruct each affected worker on the purpose and scope of the energy control program; ensure authorized workers in the energy control program were utilizing lockout procedures when performing service on mixers; cover drainage troughs and guarded platforms to prevent trip and fall hazards; prevent exposure to amputation and caught-in hazards from protruding shaft ends and unguarded chain and sprockets; and ensure unobstructed exit routes.

Other violations include failing to ensure workers spraying corrosive chemicals use splash goggles; provide an emergency eyewash station; provide appropriate hand protection; and conduct audiograms for temporary workers exposed to noise levels in excess of permissible exposure limits. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations, with $1,100 in penalties, involve failing to store supplies properly against the wall of the spray booth; establish a written exposure control plan for workers trained and expected to perform first aid; and for allowing lockout locks to be used other than for energy control; and not properly recording injuries on OSHA’s 300 log. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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