Houston tortilla maker flattened by $106k fine

La Espiga de Oro, a Houston-area tortilla bakery, faces $106,700 in fines for multiple safety violations following an inspection by OSHA investigators who descended on the plant after receiving tips about unsafe working conditions.

Investigators found numerous hazards involving dangerous equipment, as well as potential exposure to extreme heat. Electrical hazards included exposed, energized machinery. Workers were also exposed to fall hazards when they loaded tortilla dough into machines. In all, inspectors uncovered 25 serious violations.

Note: Employers should always know what constitutes a hazard. Unguarded machinery and exposed electrical wiring may be obvious, but the OSHA website (www.osha.gov/employers/) provides details on how to mitigate many hazards.