Company still exposing workers to the risks of amputation, other serious injuries
A family-owned tortilla factory south of Austin in Texas still exposing workers to the risks of amputation and other serious injuries despite previous citations, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a $218,839 fine.
After receiving worker complaints about dangerous amputation hazards in the workplace, OSHA once again investigated conditions at El Milagro of Texas Inc. and found that the company once again failed to follow hazardous energy control procedures to prevent sudden machine start-up or movement during maintenance and servicing.
Inspectors cited El Milagro for three repeat violations related to energy control and four serious violations for failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures.
“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 Casey Perkins, OSHA area director in Austin, Texas. “OSHA will hold employers accountable when they fail to comply with requirements to prevent worker exposure to dangerous hazards.”
OSHA also cited the company for a repeat violation for failing to fit-test workers using respirators, and a serious violation for not performing medical evaluations for respirator use. It cited the company for the same violations in 2015 and 2018.
El Milagro of Texas has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Previously, Ontario-based Morbern Inc. was fined after one of its workers was injured in an incident involving a table with moving parts. Also, Shawcor Ltd. was fined after one of its workers was injured after contact with machinery.