SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — El Milagro of Texas Inc., a family-owned tortilla company based in San Marcos, is facing $218,839 in fines after the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for exposing workers to the risks of amputation and other serious injuries.
According to OSHA, El Milagro failed to follow hazardous energy control procedures to prevent sudden machine start-up or movement during maintenance and servicing. As a result, OSHA inspectors cited El Milagro for three repeat violations related to energy control and four serious violations for failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures.
In addition, OSHA 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.
“More than half of workplace amputations involve some type of machinery, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports,” said Casey Perkins, area director for OSHA in Austin, Texas. “Energy control and lockout/tagout procedures are vital to protecting workers in manufacturing facilities. 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 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.
Founded in 1950 by Raul Lopez, El Milagro makes tortillas, tostadas, chips and taco shells.