Article One – Series on Work-Related Injuries Procedures & Tips: Transporting Granite and Marble Safely

Rock Solid Tips for Moving Transporting Heavy Stone!

granite-transport-1In general, unloading slabs of granite and/or stone can be dangerous. It is important to be aware of the appropriate precautions. Always alert any employers or employees to the many hazards associated with handling slabs of granite, transporting, storing, or loading. Serious injuries and fatalities can occur when handing or unloading large and heavy slabs of granite. Sometimes stone slabs can weigh from several hundred to several thousand pounds. And liability laws vary from state to state, even including size or weight. For instance, kitchen remodeling RI contractors have several brackets of weight which determine what kind of vehicle is allowed to deliver it. Each piece varies. Over 46 fatalities occurred from 1984 to 2006! Many of these fatalities took place in Providence, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

(Video helpful in instructing safely transporting stone slabs)

To safely move heavy slabs of granite or stone, one must be aware of the correct process. There are wooden supports in the trucks that deliver the slabs. Often, these wooden supports shift or break in the truck. Without any wooden supports, the slabs can shift and collapse. It is a bad idea to remove supports carelessly when unloading. Employees have been trapped or crushed before, due to unforeseen shifts or collapsing supports.

When slabs are taken off the truck, they are usually placed in a rack structure for storage. Racks can be constructed of metal or wood. In rare cases, A-Frames aren’t designed properly to support the weight of the granite slabs. In other cases, the slabs aren’t secured with restraining devices. When handling and moving stone slabs, it is vital to use mechanical equipment, like powered trucks, and mechanical equipment. Clamps, or hooks, chains, and straps are often used for rigging. Even after moving the slabs of stone, or granite from the racks to the designated area, employees can still be crushed by attaching a lifting device.

It is important to note that you should stay away from the shadow of the stone slab, in case it falls. It is important to pre-plan the work and identify the safe work practices, and needed equipment.

In Summary, always implement safe slab handling procedures for transporting, unloading, and loading from the storage. Always make sure that the racks are properly installed. Maintain the rack, make sure no other objects are interfering with the placement of the poles. Never allow employees to use damaged storage racks. Always keep an eye out for cracked welds and structural members. Make sure poles or other uprights are seated properly in sockets or holes.

(Check out a very interesting and useful table on  calculating injury-free lifting capabilities . The science behind charting these lifting capabilities are both informative and fascinating!)