Landes Foods cited for four repeat violations by OSHA
The manufacturer of corn and flour tortillas and precut chips was cited for six safety violations, with four of them repeat offences, according to the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA found workers were continuing to be exposed to hazards at the company's tortilla manufacturing facility following an August follow-up inspection.
Similar violations were cited in May 2010 that resulted in penalties totaling $123,200. The company contested the citations, and the case is currently in collection.
Three repeat safety violations were cited for failing to provide quick drench and eyewash facilities for employees working with corrosive sanitation chemicals, ensure electrical receptacles had appropriate polarity and ensure the use of protective footwear.
A repeat health violation was cited for failing to monitor exposure to formaldehyde released during the chip frying process.
A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
"Landes Foods has failed to correct violations previously cited while also continuing to expose workers to safety and health hazards that could lead to possible injuries, illnesses or worse," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas.
Boyd added that it was the employer's responsibility to find and fix workplace hazards.
The two serious health violations were cited for failing to monitor noise level exposure and provide audiometric testing for workers exposed to noise at or above 85 decibels for an eight-hour time-weighted average.
Workers in the corn and flour processing departments were monitored with regards to the noise level exposure with the highest noise level being 90.8 decibels.
Landes Foods, which employs 283 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request a meeting with OSHA's Dallas office or contest the citations and penalties.