Ongoing Training is Essential for Safety

We all know that working safely with stone and heavy materials requires training and following safety procedures. There are many training resources available to stone industry workers and shop owners, some free and some offered through companies that specialize in on-site workplace training / OSHA certification programs.

The Natural Stone Institute has been hard at work creating quality online courses, not just for their members, but for all stone professionals. There’s a great selection of silica protection, fabrication and slab handling-specific videos and courses in the Natural Stone University online library. The recommended procedure is that all employees go through the full training program.

 The NSI safety courses are meant to supplement training made available at convention workshops and on-site ed-ucation seminars. In a recent interview with the Slippery Rock, NSI education manager Aaron Dahnke said, “We started with over 100 safety courses formed by a safety committee of over 30 companies. In the first iteration, we had nine safe slab handling classes, 42 toolbox talks and also all classes translated into Spanish.”

At the very least, training in slab fall shadow awareness should be mandatory viewing for anyone working with or around slabs. One of the newest NSI video training resources deals specifically with training visitors (i.e. customers) to slab storage areas (see for more.)

Safe Stone Shopping is a three-minute resource designed to provide safety guidelines for consumers entering a natural stone showroom or fabrication facility for the first time. The video provides an overview of safety requirements and things one should consider before entering a working facility. 

The NSI provides a safety education syllabus as a guide to help companies train employees who are new to the stone industry. The guide takes new employees through the first 4 weeks of employment and recommends training through the first year of employment.

No matter which training method you choose, work wet and stay alert around moving slabs.