OSHA Repeated Inspections Find Tortilla Factory Continuously Exposed Workers to Amputation Dangers
El Milagro out of San Marcos, TX was cited for seven repeat, serious violations.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Jun 17, 2021
OSHA inspections of a family-owned tortilla factory south of Austin was given every opportunity to resolve its safety issues. However, OSHA found the company continuously exposing its workers to amputation risks and other serious injuries. This stemmed from worker complaints of dangerous amputation hazards leading OSHA to continue to investigate conditions at El Milagro of Texas Inc. The agency’s inspectors determined that the tortilla manufacturer, once again, failed to follow hazardous energy control to prevent sudden machine start-up or movement during maintenance and servicing. This resulted in El Milagro being cited for three repeat violations related to energy control and four serious violations for failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures.
According to a press release, OSHA also cited the company for failing to fit-test workers using respirators and a serious violation for not performing medical evaluations for respirator use. There is a proposed $218,839 in fines. OSHA cited El Milagro in 2015 and 2018.
“More than half of workplace amputations involve some type of machinery, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Energy control and lockout/tagout procedures are vital to protecting workers in manufacturing facilities,” said OSHA Area Director Casey Perkins in Austin, Texas. “OSHA will hold employers accountable when they fail to comply with requirements to prevent worker exposure to dangerous hazards.”
El Milagro of Texas has 15 days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before OSHRC.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.