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San Marcos tortilla factory fined more than $218K over workplace hazards

Citations and violations include exposing workers to risks of amputation and other serious injuries.
Credit: bhofack2
Homemade White Corn Tortillas

SAN MARCOS, Texas — A San Marcos tortilla factory has been cited and fined more than $218,000 over workplace hazards, including exposing workers to risks of amputation and other serious injuries.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated conditions at the El Milagro of Texas tortilla factory, finding a failure to comply with hazardous energy control procedures to prevent sudden machine start-up or movement during maintenance and servicing.

According to the Labor Department, inspectors cited El Milagro for three repeat violations related to energy control and four serious violations for failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures. 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.

OSHA cited the company for the same violations in 2015 and 2018, Labor Department officials said.

“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 a statement. “OSHA will hold employers accountable when they fail to comply with requirements to prevent worker exposure to dangerous hazards.”

El Milagro of Texas will have 15 business days from the receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings.

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