A young worker at a tortilla manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, NY, was killed on the job. In the resulting inspection, OSHA found machine guarding issues and suggested the worker may not have understood safety training that was only provided in English.
A 22-year-old Guatemalan immigrant was killed when he got caught in the unguarded auger of a mixing machine at the Tortilleria Chinantla, Inc., facility.
In the resulting inspection, OSHA cops said that placing guards on the machine could have prevented the worker’s death. Inspectors issued eight citations — one willful, six serious and one other-than-serious — totaling $62,400. In addition to the machine guarding issues, OSHA said the company lacked a lockout/tagout program and a chemical hazard communication program. The manufacturer also failed to train industrial truck operators and didn’t report the worker’s fatality on its injury and illness logs.
Officials also suggested that the worker didn’t understand safety training he received in English. Employers must ensure that workers understand the training they receive, OSHA said, and referred employers to the agency’s Spanish training resources.
The fatality led to other inspections of Brooklyn tortilla manufacturers. While no fatalities occurred at those facilities, OSHA said it discovered similar hazards.