Tortilla Factory Faces 25 Safety & Health Violations in Texas

OSHA has cited Lobo Tortilla Factory Inc. with one alleged willful, 22 alleged serious, and two alleged other-than-serious violations following a safety and health inspection at the company's worksite in Dallas. Penalties total $123,200.

"In the last three years, at least seven workers have sustained injuries while performing maintenance work at this facility," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "This company clearly knew its responsibility under the Occupational Safety and Health Act but continued to jeopardize the safety of its workers."

OSHA's Dallas Area Office began its inspection Nov. 17, 2009, after receiving a complaint alleging employees were being exposed to safety hazards. A willful violation has been issued for failing to protect workers from the unexpected release of energy while servicing and maintaining equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Serious violations include failing to protect workers from being struck by falling objects, to ensure workers were adequately protected from exposure to corrosive chemicals, to provide training in the use of a forklift truck, and to properly install and maintain electrical equipment. The health inspection has resulted in six serious violations that include failing to ensure workers were not exposed to noise levels at or above 85 decimals and to adequately protect employees from exposure to hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Other-than-serious violations have been cited for failing to maintain occupational injury and illness logs in 2005 and 2006. 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.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Dallas, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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