Navasota business accused of putting employees in serious danger

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NAVASOTA, Tex. (KBTX)- KBTX has learned the U.S. Department of Labor is taking action against a Brazos Valley business for what it calls 'serious' violations of employee safety.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated a follow-up inspection of Thomas Moore Feed on Allen Farm Road near Navasota on Aug. 24, 2016.

Click here to view the citations

Safety and health investigators found the employer failed repeatedly to guard machinery and protect employees against fall and grain dust hazards.

OSHA's Houston North Area office cited the employer for eight serious violations and two repeat violations. The agency cited the animal feed manufacturer for similar violations in February 2015.

The citations were issued on December 20, 2016 and proposed penalties total nearly $92,000.

"Thomas Moore Feed cannot continue to expose workers to such serious hazards as unguarded machines and combustible grain dust," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in the Houston North office. "Negligence like this can be fatal, and can lead to serious injuries or worse. Employers must follow OSHA's standards to protect workers and ensure a safe workplace."

Matt Moore, the owner of the facility, said the allegations from OSHA are "totally false."

"Their statements are completely false and overblown. We are contesting with OSHA and we'll be meeting with them on January 12th at their office in Conroe to contest the citations," said Moore.

Thomas Moore Feed specializes in manufacturing animal feed and employs approximately 47 employees. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

"We've been in business since 1836 and we value our employees," said Moore. "We have a health and safety adviser who comes to the site monthly to do employer training and inspections. We also have safety classes for our employees."

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Houston North office at 936-760-3800. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.