Tortilla Maker Faces Safety Fines

Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 12:05 PM gHale

Tortillas Ricas LP, doing business as Casa Rica Tortillas, is facing $48,300 in fines for 13 serious safety and health violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited the tortilla manufacturer for exposing workers to unguarded machines and electrical hazards and for failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines. OSHA initiated the February 2013 inspection at the company’s Plainview, TX, facility under its National Emphasis Program on combustible dust.

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“All workers deserve a safe workplace, and Casa Rica Tortillas has a responsibility to provide that safe workplace for its employees,” said Elena S. Metcalf, acting area director of OSHA’s El Paso Area Office. “OSHA standards are there to protect workers from predictable and preventable injuries and illnesses. These standards were disregarded at the expense of worker safety.”

OSHA inspectors found the employer did not provide adequate safety training for employees working with hazardous chemicals.

The employer received citations for exposing workers to unguarded machines, failing to control combustible dust and for exposing employees to electrical hazards. 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.

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