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If necessity is the mother of all inventions, then safety is the driving force. With that in mind, B&L Structures, a division of Bluff Manufacturing, has come up with a solutions-based application, which addresses a significant safety concern in the handling, storage and transport of heavy stone slabs – The Bluff A-Frame Slab Transport Rack! This unique innovation is designed specifically to handle heavy slab material such as natural stone and provides a much-needed additional layer of safety for workers handling these slabs.
When you look at beautiful stone floors, patios, or pavements, or walk by a stunning marble counter top, you appreciate the quality and the aesthetics of the stone or marble. Behind the beauty of the finished product lies a tremendous amount of work that goes into transporting these slabs so that they can be sold, fabricated and then fit into their end destination surroundings. Bluff’s A-Frames Transport Racks are able to add an additional level of safety in the storage and transportation of these slabs of stone.
Typically, A-Frame Slab Transport Racks are used to secure the slabs duringtransport. The slabs are positioned by leaning themagainst A-Frame Racks that act like ‘bookends’ (see picture below). Slabs are leaned on either sides of the A-Frame for optimal use of space. When these slabs are delivered to a showroom, slab fabricator, or other destination, forklifts are engaged to retrieve them from the transport rack. If an outer slab is up for delivery, this isn’t a complicated feat; however if a slab which is not on the exterior of the stack is up for delivery, some slab maneuvering is required: slabs need to be separated in order to retrieve one that is within the stack of slabs. This is where things get a little more complicated.
More often than not, workers brace the outer slabs against themselves or hold them upright and away from the rest of the stack in order to retrieve one that is in the center of the stack. The risks are BIG and unnecessary – should the worker lose control of the slab and be standing in its fall shadow, he could easily get knocked down or crushed, resulting in serious injury or death.
This is where Bluff comes in. Through its constant innovations, Bluff Manufacturing designed A-Frame Slab Transport Racks that add an additional layer of safety to the conventional A-Frames. The heavy-duty racks are fabricated from structural tube and structural channel steel. In the event that slabs shift, slide or fall while workers are in harm’s way, they are protected through the use of a secondary bracing or restraint system. On both sides of one end of an A-Frame Transport Rack are steel channels fitted with nominal 6” safety stop ‘pockets’. Each Transport Rack comes with two 60” handled steel vertical pipes. During slab delivery, the pipe is inserted into the appropriate safety pocket. This stop then acts as a secondary safety bracing, should the slab worker lose control of the slab. The worker is protected from the resultant injury or death that might result in a free falling slab because the safety stop catches the slab or blocks its free fall, not the worker! Once delivery is accomplished, the remaining slabs are re-positioned and the vertical safety pipe is relocated back to the storage pocket in the center of the A-Frame Transport Rack.
That is what the Bluff A-Frames do – offer an extra measure of safety by providing a secondary safety stop to the slabs when they are being separated for delivery, thereby significantly decreasing the risk to the lives of workers.
Really makes you appreciate that beautiful marble counter top you have in the kitchen even more so right? At least Bluff has made the transport part a lot easier and safer to handle. If you would like more information on our unique A-Frame Transport Rack, call us now at 800.433.2212.