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Safety Tips

Safe storage of granite, marble

January 10, 2010

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Overloaded storage racks can be a major safety hazard. When the storage racks are filled with heavy material such as granite and marble, the risks become even greater. Workers have been injured and even killed attempting to load and unload granite and marble slabs from storage racks, according to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

To prevent such hazards, Washington L&I recommends employers:

Carefully inspect storage racks prior to each use. Signs that a rack is damaged or overloaded include:

  • Cracked welds
  • Cracked, deformed or bent structural members
  • Splits in wood supports

If any repairs or modifications appear to have been made to the rack, ensure they are structurally sound and can hold several thousand pounds.

Do not allow use of damaged storage racks. Placing a load on a damaged rack is a hazard not only for the employee storing the granite, but also for any employees who may be involved in transporting, loading or unloading the slabs.

Keep other employees away when slabs are being loaded or unloaded. Even when using powered material-handling equipment, slabs of granite and marble can be very difficult to maneuver because of their weight. Be sure all employees not involved in loading or unloading activities are kept clear of the area to prevent accidents, and all storage racks are secured.

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