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Worker killed when crushed by multiple granite slabs - Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 05MA059, 2006 Sep; :1-9
On October 3, 2005, a 38-year-old male laborer/granite worker (the victim) was fatally injured when he became caught between five stone slabs and a stone table. At the time of the incident, the victim was retrieving a granite slab (from this point forward referred to as granite slab 2) that was stored with four other stone slabs in the first section of a slab rack. Granite slab 2 was the second slab in from the end of the rack's first storage section. To retrieve granite slab 2, the victim positioned himself with his back against the first stone slab and then removed one of the end slab rack support pins. A coworker/saw operator standing at the edge of the first stone slab removed the remaining end slab rack support pin. Next, the first stone slab was tilted towards the victim and the coworker, away from granite slab 2. As the victim and the coworker were supporting the first stone slab, another coworker went to access an overhead gantry crane to remove granite slab 2 from the rack. The remaining four slabs in the slab rack's first section, including granite slab 2, tilted towards the victim and the coworker. All five stone slabs fell crushing the victim against a stone table and pinning the coworker partially against the floor. Twelve coworkers lifted the stone slabs off of the victim and the coworker, while an office worker placed a call for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Upon EMS arrival at the incident site, the victim was unconscious. EMS transported the victim and the injured coworker to a local hospital where the victim was pronounced dead. The coworker's injuries were not life threatening. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Use slab racks designed with fixed support pins and individual compartments for each slab; 2. Ensure that all slab racks have been designed by registered professional engineers and that current engineering drawings and documentation of load capacities for all racks are readily available; 3. Develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures (SOP) for receiving, storing, and retrieving stone slabs, which includes limiting employees' manual handling of stone slabs; and 4. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program, which includes hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, and provide training in language(s) and literacy level(s) of workers. In addition, manufacturers of slab racks should: 5. Evaluate and consider supplying only slab racks with fixed support pins.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Training; Engineering-controls; Control-technology
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-05MA059; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division