Heavy Fines for Advertising Co After Worker Electrocuted

Source: 123RF

Los Angeles – Cal/OSHA has issued citations to an outdoor advertising company for serious safety violations after a worker suffered third-degree burns when a metal pole he was using to install a sign on a billboard came into contact with an overhead power line.

On February 6, two sign hangers for Outfront Media were working 25 feet above ground on the billboard’s platform to install a vinyl sign over West 3rd Street. The workers were using 11-foot poles to place the 14-by-48-foot sign.

One of the metal poles touched an energized high-voltage power line located near the edge of the billboard, which resulted in serious burns to 25 percent of the sign-hanger’s body.

Cal/OSHA issued three citations to Outfront Media totaling $32,435 in proposed penalties. A serious accident-related citation was issued for the employer’s violation of provisions for preventing accidents due to proximity to overhead lines, which requires a minimum clearance of 6 feet be maintained for work done near 34.5-kilovolt lines.

A serious citation was issued for failure to identify and evaluate hazards related to installing signs on billboards in proximity to power lines. Cal/OSHA also issued a general citation to the employer for an inadequate heat illness prevention plan for its outdoor workers.

Since 2015, Cal/OSHA has opened 11 inspections with outdoor and display advertising employers. Among those inspections were six accidents, including an electric shock incident last year when a worker’s ladder came into contact with overhead power lines during preparations to hang a sign.