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Outdoor advertising company fined for fall protection violations (3/14)

A nationwide outdoor advertising company with a history of fall protection violations faces $54,500 in fines from OSHA for similar hazards in Massachusetts and Georgia.

CBS Outdoor Inc. was cited for alleged repeat and serious violations of OSHA safety standards after inspectors observed CBS employees working without fall protection on billboards in Avondale Estates, Ga., and Braintree, Mass., in November 2007. OSHA found that the employees were exposed to potentially fatal falls of up to 22 feet.

Though employees had fall protection equipment with them, it was either unused or used incorrectly, leaving them vulnerable to disabling injuries or death, according to OSHA. No falls have yet occurred.

"The same hazard recurring in multiple locations points to a systemic problem with the company's safety program that must be addressed before employees are hurt or killed," said Brenda Gordon, director of OSHA's Braintree Area Office. "CBS Outdoor must consistently and effectively monitor its jobsites to ensure that proper fall protection safeguards are in place and in use at all times."

The company was issued a repeat citation with a proposed fine of $25,000 for allowing employees to be exposed to fall hazards at the Massachusetts location. Another repeat fall protection citation, with a $25,000 proposed penalty, plus two serious citations, with $4,500 in proposed penalties, for ladder and electrical hazards were issued for the Georgia jobsite.

OSHA had cited CBS Outdoor for fall protection hazards in 2006 and 2007 at worksites in Blue Springs, Mo., Hackensack, N.J., and Stone Mountain, Ga.

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