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The tortilla machine took part of a finger. OSHA wants to take $81,000 from the company

A partial finger amputation in a tortilla machine put a Labelle company in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, the Department of Labor announced.

Twins Twins, a tortilla manufacturing company run by Rodolfo Gamez Sr., also faces an $81,682 proposed fine after a post-finger injury inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration turned up seven violations.

Most of that proposed fine, $58,343, goes to a Willful violation — the employer knew it wasn’t complying with legal safety standards or just didn’t care — for Twins Twins not having “an energy control program covering servicing and/or maintenance and cleaning activities of tortilla manufacturing equipment...”

That’s according to the Citation and Notification of Penalty, which also says on March 15, a tortilla machine turned on while being being serviced and consumed part of the employee’s left index finger.

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“Proper safety procedures, including the effective lockout of all sources of energy, could have prevented this injury,” said OSHA Area Director Condell Eastmond, in Fort Lauderdale. “Employers are required to train workers and ensure that they understand how to de-energize machinery before performing service or maintenance.”

OSHA also found over inspections on March 27 and May 7, a Repeat violation of no machine guards as employees toiled near “ingoing nip points between conveyor belt and rollers transferring cooked tortillas from a tortilla manufacturing machine towards a seven-level cooling conveyor.”

Twins Twins also allowed an employed to cut with a Tradesman 10-inch miter saw that wasn’t anchored.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program, OSHA said, “concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their (Occupational Safety Health) Act obligations by committing willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.”

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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