In light of several recent slab handling accident deaths at stone facilities across the country, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has launched a new safety initiative that will examine every facet of slab handling, including new video and other training materials for the industry.
“This initiative has the highest
priority at MIA,” said Gary Distelhorst, executive vice president of the
association. Deaths have been
reported at both fabricator and distributor facilities in recent months in California,
New York and Ohio.
To attack the spreading epidemic of
accidents, Distelhorst said that the MIA has created a slab handling safety
task force composed of safety experts from leading stone distributor firms. The
group consists of key safety and operational executives from: Architectural
Granite & Marble, Arizona Tile, Daltile, Midwest Tile, Mont Granite, MS
International, OHM International, and Walker Zanger. The MIA and several stone suppliers will provide funding for
the new initiative across the country.
In its first teleconference, the
task force focused on several important safety issues concerning slab handling
involving use of overhead cranes and uniform procedures for slab delivery to
local fabricators, each of which provides a unique delivery situation because
of facilities and terrain.
The task force is expected to meet
in the near future to zero in on specifics that will lead to creation of a new
video script and other training materials. MIA hopes to distribute the new
materials by late spring.
One of the key efforts of the task
force is to identify and address training topics that were not addressed in the
slab handling video (produced in 2005).“Obviously, the subject needs to be
addressed again and expanded in scope and depth,” Distelhorst said.
“In the meantime, we urge all MIA
members and others in the industry to make use of current MIA slab handling
safety materials to reinforce the message that careless slab handling is very
dangerous,” he said.
For a complete listing of safety
materials available, visit www.marble-institute.com/safety.
Recent slab-handling incidents fuel new MIA initiative
March 4, 2010