US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Ecorec Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg,
Texas, for exposing workers to amputation hazards, other safety violations
EDINBURG, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ecorec Rio Grande Valley Inc. with 17 serious violations for exposing workers to amputation hazards and other safety violations at its facility in Edinburg. Proposed penalties total $74,900.
"This company has jeopardized the safety of its workers by failing to provide a safe and healthful working environment," said Michael J. Rivera, the agency's area director in Corpus Christi. "OSHA's standards must be followed to prevent accidents and injuries."
OSHA's Corpus Christi Area Office began an investigation on Oct. 16, 2012, at the company's Monte Cristo Road work site following a complaint that workers were engaged in recycling scrap, including automotive bodies, tires and appliances, without adequate protection from energy, falls, electrical and chemical hazards.
Serious violations include failing to provide machine guarding to prevent amputations while working with a baling machine, which had inoperable emergency stop buttons; provide control of hazardous energy to prevent being crushed when working inside a baling machine; provide fire protection in the event combustibles should spark; and ensure electrical circuits have a path-to-ground. 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 company, which employs about 31 workers at its Edinburg location and operates other recycling facilities nationwide, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Corpus Christi office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321- OSHA (6742) or the agency's Corpus Christi Area Office at 361-888-3420.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.