NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Worker killed when crushed by multiple stone slabs.

FACE Facts 2006 Dec; :1-2
Background: In New England, six workers in the cut stone or stone distribution industry have been killed between August 2004 and April 2006. As with most work-related injuries and fatalities, these deaths could have been prevented. Incident: A Brazilian male stone worker was fatally injured while retrieving a granite slab located in a vertical slab rack. The granite slab was the second of five stone slabs stored in the rack's end storage section between one pair of support pins. In order to create enough room to hoist the second slab out of the rack, the victim positioned himself with his back facing the first stone slab. With help from a coworker, the rack's end support pins were removed and the first stone slab was tilted away from the granite slab and onto the victim's back for support. The remaining four slabs that were located in the rack's end storage section started to tilt. All five stone slabs, weighing over 5,700 pounds, fell and fatally crushed the victim against a stone table and injured the coworker. Recommendations To reduce crushing hazards when storing and retrieving stone slabs: Use slab racks with fixed support pins and individual compartments for each slab. Never disassemble any portion of a slab rack that is storing slab materials. Ensure all slab racks are designed by registered professional engineers and load capacity documentation is available in the workplace. When available, use material handling equipment, such as gantry cranes or forklifts, with proper attachments, to lift and move slabs. Never stand under or next to slabs that are being moved. Never manually support large stone slabs. . Always stand at the ends of stone slabs. When using racks that hold more than one slab in a section, ensure that: 1. Slabs are placed in racks by height. 2. Rack sections are never overcrowded with stone slabs. 3. All slabs stored in the rack are tied down.
Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Protective-measures; Stone-processing; Mortality-data; Storage-containers
Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
Fatality Investigation Report: FACE Facts
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division