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Safer Handling of Granite and Marble Slabs

Individual granite and marble slabs can weigh anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. Workers who transport and handle these large pieces of rock face difficult challenges, including shifting loads and rack/support failures. Awareness of these hazards and appropriate precautions can prevent workplace accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides these helpful guidelines.

  1. Do not overload any racking systems, dollies, fork trucks, or any other equipment used to store or handle the slabs
  2. Implement and follow correct loading and unloading procedures
  3. Effectively secure the storage racks to the transport truck
  4. Properly maintain and inspect storage racks before use
  5. Any restraining or tie-down devices used must be inspected before installation and properly applied by qualified personnel
  6. Avoid manually lifting of stone slabs and follow safe work practices
  7. Do not use scissor clamps on equipment operating on uneven surfaces
  8. Train crew in proper loading/unloading practices and how to identify shifted or fallen slabs that could cause a risk of injury
  9. Do not stand within the slab’s “fall shadow” and only walk at either end of the slab
  10. When using fork trucks, raise the load only as high as necessary to clear the road surface or obstacles
  11. Remove the supports and bracing from slab bundles inside shipping/storage containers using a sequence that doesn’t allow for other slabs to collapse or shift
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