Newport mansions cited for unsafe work conditions

In this Nov. 12, 2001 file photo, visitors take advantage of free admission to tour The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I. The Preservation Society of Newport County proposed building a visitor center in 2014 that would sit on the mansion's grounds. The society said it would be unobtrusive and would provide necessary services that currently are lacking at the popular tourist attraction. Some nearby residents are fighting the plan. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A group that owns several well-known Newport mansions has been cited by federal workplace safety inspectors for allegedly exposing workers to lead-based paint and potentially fatal falls.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on Thursday that it cited the Preservation Society of Newport County for 10 serious violations and proposed $51,840 in fines.

Spokesman Ted Fitzgerald says OSHA inspectors opened an investigation when they were driving by Chateau Sur Mer on Bellevue Avenue in May and saw employees working on a ladder that was not properly placed. In the course of the investigation, he says they also found a series of lead paint violations.

A spokeswoman for the Preservation Society says it is working with OSHA to resolve the problems.

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