HOUSTON – Workers at the Thomas Moore Feed facility in Navasota, Texas, were exposed to combustible dust and other safety hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Dept. of Labor reported. The company specializes in manufacturing animal feed, and employs about 35 workers at the facility.

OSHA's Houston North Area Office cited the company for 18 safety violations following an inspection in September 2014. The company faces a penalty of $58,100 for not protecting workers from potential dust explosion; allowing openings in the dust collection exhaust path of the hammer mill; failing to keep dust accumulations below 1/8 inch in a priority area; not maintaining a functioning monitor on the dust collector or making repairs to the dust collector and not having an adequate dust emission source.

The company also received citations for serious violations that included failure to guard belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets less than 7 ft. from the ground; evaluate permit-required confined spaces; and outline procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery.