US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Tortillas Ricas LP for serious health
and safety violations with $48,300 in fines
LUBBOCK, Texas – Tortillas Ricas LP, doing business as Casa Rica Tortillas, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 13 serious safety and health violations with proposed fines of $48,300. 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 facility under its National Emphasis Program on combustible dust.
"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 that the employer did not provide adequate safety training for employees working with hazardous chemicals. The employer was cited 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.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & 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 Lubbock District Office at 806-472-7681.
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.
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