Tortillas Ricas LP, doing business as Casa Rica Tortillas, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 13 serious safety and health violations with proposed fines of $48,300. OSHA cited the tortilla manufacturer for exposing workers to unguarded machines and electrical hazards and for failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines. OSHA initiated the February 2013 inspection at the company's Plainview facility under its National Emphasis Program on combustible dust.

"All workers deserve a safe workplace, and Casa Rica Tortillas has a responsibility to provide that safe workplace for its employees," said Elena S. Metcalf, acting area director of OSHA's El Paso Area Office. "OSHA standards are there to protect workers from predictable and preventable injuries and illnesses. These standards were disregarded at the expense of worker safety."

The employer was cited for exposing workers to unguarded machines, failing to control combustible dust and for exposing employees to electrical hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.