Fabricator How-to

New device for slab storage safety

April 2, 2012
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The Secure A-Frame is a slab storage device designed to improve slab storage safety. When used with a customer’s existing A-Frame, the device dramatically reduces the danger of falling slabs. The Secure A-Frame fits into a standard 3-inch ID steel channel, which is used on 90% of the steel A-Frames currently in use at stone wholesalers and fabricators throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Secure A-Frame was conceived by Jonathan Mitnick of CCS Stone in Moonachie, NJ (a Marble Institute of America Safety Committee member) and Paolo Mantenuto of Marble and Marble in Concord, Ontario, Canada, and it is available from their joint company, Marble Devices, which has offices and warehouses in both locations.

The device replaces nylon straps, wood clamps and other unconventional methods to safely secure slabs of natural and engineered stone to a company’s existing A-Frames.

This device is sold in pairs direct from the manufacturer — Marble Devices — to business owners and safety managers. Finished with epoxy black powder coat, the Secure A-Frame may be used for indoor and outdoor storage. The steel foot fits into the base of an existing A-Frame, a wood block is placed in the exposed channel, and slabs rest on the foot of the device. Safety chains connect the foot to the base of the A-Frame, and a post made of 3-mm-thick wall tubular steel is inserted into the foot and locked in place with a hardened steel pin.

An arm and pad are lowered against the slab, and the slider mechanism locks the arm into place. If desired, the employee may lock the slider and arm into position with a tamper-resistant key. This prevents visitors from handling slabs or unauthorized access to the slabs being secured.

The Secure A-Frame is designed to drastically reduce personal injury due to falling slabs of natural and engineered stone. Customers visiting distributors and fabricators to view slabs are protected in the fall shadow when the Secure A-Frame is used, allowing slabs to be viewed safely by customers.

Moreover, business owners reduce their risk of injury to employees or people visiting their warehouse, yard or fabrication facility.

Employees benefit from a safer work environment. Single slabs are removed with a crane or forklift boom using a standard slab-lifting clamp. With the post in place, the slider is unlocked, the arm is raised, and slabs are removed in line with the post. Handling the slabs in this manner adheres to Marble Institute of America guidelines for avoiding the fall shadow, as well as OSHA requirements for slab-handling safety. Since the post is set in the fall shadow, risk of injury from falling slabs to workers is eliminated.

For bulk loading and unloading of multiple slabs with cables or straps, the posts may be removed, and proper rigging protocol is applied. With the arm in the raised position, the post has been tested to support up to 15 slabs of ¾-inch material leaning against the post.

Slabs are securely fastened to A-Frames when the device is used in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines.

The arm and pad hold slabs from tipping over if bumped by a careless forklift operator or blown by strong winds or other acts of nature.

For more information, visit www.marbledevices.com.     

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