Latest News

MIA SAFETY ALERT: New slab-falling deaths reported

April 23, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Unfortunately, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has serious and disturbing news to report involving the deaths of four stone industry employees killed over the past several weeks in slab handling accidents. In Florida and Oklahoma, and in Maryland just last week, the deaths occurred while unloading trucks. In California, the owner of a fabrication business was killed while unloading a container.

As a result of this tragic loss of life and to help prevent further stone-related accidents in the workplace, MIA is re-galvanizing its aggressive stone safety initiative and will be producing timely video and print training programs that specifically address the factors which caused these and other slab handling accidents.

MIA has recently convened a panel of top-level stone distribution safety professionals who will review the information available concerning the recent accidents and make specific recommendations on the content of the new training materials. Once this review is completed, production will immediately begin on the new training materials, which will be made available to distributors and fabricators in the industry upon completion.

MIA has long recognized that any handling of slabs or countertops in the industry poses a potential hazard to those handling the material. That's why we produced a special video on stone handling safety several years ago and distributed it throughout the industry. We know it has been widely used by both members and non-members.

As we all painfully know, even among those who have been well trained in safety procedures, it only takes a split second of carelessness for a tragic accident to occur. Because of the economy, these are stressful times in our industry, especially with associates worrying about job security and other financial concerns. Sometimes stress-related conditions cause folks to take their eye off the ball and accidents occur.

Because of the recent and tragic stone handling fatalities, it would seem that now is a very good time for every company in our industry to give those involved in stone handling a safety "pep talk," which focuses on the hazards involved, as evidenced by the recent deaths.

MIA's original slab handling safety program would be an excellent component in that safety session. Dust it off and show it to every one that handles stone in the warehouse, fabrication shop and in the field. If you can't find a copy of the program, call or e-mail MIA and we will send you a complimentary copy.

Now would also be an excellent time to check your slab handling equipment, including overhead cranes, to make sure that it is function properly. In tough economic conditions, there sometime is a tendency to put off maintenance issues until things get better. But not when human life is at stake.

Safety will always continue to be a top priority for MIA. We will keep you up to date on our efforts to supply you with the newest training materials in the very near future.

-- Gary Distelhorst, Executive Vice President, Marble Institute of America

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.


Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine


2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!


Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.


facebook logo Twitter  YouTube