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Safely Storing Stone Slabs

It is an aspect of working in the stone industry that may be easily overlooked if proper attention is not given. It also is a task that must be done if a fabrication shop expects to operate at a high level of production. Storing stone slabs is a must in slab yards, warehouses, and fabrication shops. And when it comes to slab storage, safety is important. In this article we are going to take a look at safely storing slabs. We will discuss why it is important and what to keep in mind in the way of recommendations as regards storing stone.

Safety Needed When Handling Stone

There are many reasons for being safety conscious when working stone. We covered different aspects of safely handling stone in an article entitled: Handling Hazardous Stone Slabs Safely. In that article we touched on various ways that stone handling safety becomes important in the process of working with slabs. Here though, we will expand on just one aspect of the topic. That of, safely storing stone slabs.

Why Safety Is Required When Storing Slabs

The reason safety is needed when it comes to storing slabs of stone is because of their weight. That's right. The weight of just one stone slab creates a hazard. A slab of stone can easily weight hundreds if not thousands of pounds depending on the size. Heavy stone is Hazardous for a variety of ways. Three of them are:

  1. Caught-by Injuries
  2. Stuck-by Injuries
  3. Crush-by Injuries and Fatalities

Simply storing stone slabs in a facility can be dangerous if (1) Safety measures are not known by those working in the area, (2) These safety measures are not taken, (3) Equipment fails to provide a safe work environment, and (4) Storage equipment is not maintained so as to retain its performance.

Making Slab Storage Safety Measures Known

In order for safety to take place, each worker must know that there are safety guidelines and requirements that must be followed when it comes to storing stone slabs. Have an education protocol that ensures each new and existing worker is aware of the standards your facility follows. If changes are made to the guidelines or requirements, reinstruct and verify acknowledgement of the update(s).

Ensuring Workers Follow Storage Safety Protocols

Informing is not effective in and of itself. Just knowing about something does not mean that it will be followed through on. Therefore, after instructing, training, or orientating workers, safety practices regarding stone storage must be enforced by ensuring that everyone actually takes the steps laid out in the training. Having a safe stone storage protocol or procedure means nothing if the standards are not implemented.

Stone Storage Equipment Safety

The equipment used for storing stone slabs safely is just as important as having safe practices. In fact, some of the practices will be directly related to the equipment being used. Be sure that equipment is properly installed and set up before using.

And what good is a safety standard if the fixtures used for holding slabs is unsafe due to overloading or damage. Even cleanliness can have an impact on safely storing stone slabs. If waste or debris from the environment gets into a post socket on a slab storage rack, it can prevent the rack from receiving the post properly. In turn, an improperly seated pole makes the rack weak and well, you know the rest.

Maintaining Slab Storage Equipment

Having high quality equipment, installing it correctly, and using it properly is not the end of the matter. Everything done at the time of install is important. But any aspect of the set-up and installation can become undone if the equipment is not inspected and maintained regularly and properly.

Stone Slab Storage Recommendations

There are several recommendations that serve to keep workers headed in the right direction. The following list of guidelines will help workers to avoid many safety hazards when it comes to stone slab storage:

  • Make sure that the storage rack used is designed to withstand the loads and forces to which it will be subjected.
  • Use storage rack systems that are made with the ability to secure slabs from shifting, collapsing, or sliding.
  • Develop and practice procedures for placing slabs into and removing slabs from storage racks.
  • Keep employees out of danger zones such as "fall shadows" while placing and removing slabs.
  • Don't use or allows workers to use damaged racks for storing slabs.
  • Keep up with rack maintenance by keeping the rack area clean and free of debris that interferes with the proper usage of the rack. Debris can clog holes and prevent poles or posts to properly and/or fully insert into the base of the rack.
  • Ensure that racks used for storage are properly installed by inspecting each component, ensuring that vertical posts or poles are able to be inserted into the sockets in the rack's base.
  • Regularly inspect each rack before loading it with stone slabs, thus checking that the rack is correctly installed and ready to receive slabs for storage.

Inspecting Storage Racks to Ensure Safety

The recommendations listed above are provided to direct attention to hazards that are associated with the storage of stone slabs in storage racks. Performing regular inspections of the equipment will help to ensure the recommendations are not only followed but also are kept intact. When performing inspections look for the following:

  • Cracked Structural Parts
  • Welds That Have Cracked or Broke
  • Bent or Deformed Structural Parts of Metal Racks
  • Bent or Split Structural Parts of Wooden Racks
  • Evidence the Rack Has been Overloaded
  • Signs of Rack Damage
  • Uprights, Poles, or Posts Not Fitting Into the Base.
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Cross Bar for A Frame Cross Bar for A Frame

Cross bar for Weha A-frame storage slab rack bolts to the A-frame storage rack to lock the 2 A-frames together 60" long.

List Price: $45.90
60" Pole for Bison Rack 60" Pole for Bison Rack

Sixty inch square poles for the Weha Bison stone slab storage racks galvanized with white rubber cap with angle bracket.

List Price: $68.79
Single Sided Safety Yellow A Frame Single Sided Safety Yellow A Frame

When situated against a wall, this A-frame storage rack accommodates full-sized slabs without touching the wall at the top.

List Price: $264.00
Safety Yellow Stone A Frame Rack Set Safety Yellow Stone A Frame Rack Set

Safety yellow A-frame storage rack set with crossbar is a double sided storage rack designed to accommodate 12,000 lbs.

List Price: $324.83
Safety Yellow Remnant Rack Safety Yellow Remnant Rack

This safety yellow heavy duty remnant stone five foot storage rack comes with two sixty inch bases and 20 - 36" posts.

List Price: $385.86
Bison 5 Slab Racks Bison 5 Slab Racks

This quality stone slab storage system is a set of continuous locking rack system designed to store both individual slabs and bundles.

List Price: $887.40
60" 10 Ft. Buffalo Slab Rack 60" 10 Ft. Buffalo Slab Rack

Buffalo slab bundle storage racks represent the latest technology in vertical stone storage and are rated for 11,500 lbs.

List Price: $1,679.50
10' Hippo Slab Bundle Set 10' Hippo Slab Bundle Set

The Hippo is a heavy duty multi-bundle storage rack that is made for holding up to 190,080 pounds of bundled stone.

List Price: $2,371.76
72" 10' Buffalo Slab Rack 72" 10' Buffalo Slab Rack

The Weha Buffalo Bundle Slab Storage Rack 10 foot long with 16 72" Safety Poles. 6 Point Post Touch Locking System.

List Price: $2,435.00