Trucker killed at warehouse while unloading granite slab

| 4/14/2010

A South Carolina truck driver was killed Monday in Maryland, when a slab of granite crushed him.

Stacy Moody, 41, of Turbeville, SC, was unloading a slab of granite shortly after 9 a.m. Monday at American Countertops Co., in Hanover, MD. Moody was reportedly removing the straps from the granite slab by himself when it fell on him, killing him.

Other employees nearby moved the slab before paramedics arrived, but Moody was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Capital Gazette reported that Maryland Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the incident, and that an American Countertops Co. supervisor said loading and unloading is typically performed by one truck driver.

OOIDA Life Member Charlie Parfrey has asked several federal agencies for years to address problems with A-frame loads typically used for heavy flat rock and glass.

Unfortunately, Parfrey said, incidents like Monday’s fatality aren’t surprising.

OOIDA Member Steve Mosbrucker, who worked for Parfrey’s trucking company, nearly died when a granite load slipped and fell on him in 2004.

Mosbrucker suffered seven orbital fractures, a broken jaw, compressed left shoulder, a hip injury, and deep scrapes to his left leg when a granite slab landed on him after a strap was released.

Many other injuries suffered by driver from slabs of granite, marble and glass go unreported, Parfrey said.

Mosbrucker spent 10 weeks off the road recovering, but the incident is one of several that motivated Parfrey to repeatedly ask the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others to protect truckers that work with loads that use A-frame systems.

Some A-frames have a load capacity of 6,000 pounds, but may be used to haul as much as 20,000 pounds, he said.

“This is a forgotten part of the industry. It’s just something where somebody said, ‘Oh, we can’t do anything about it – so let it be. We have no control,’ ” Parfrey said. “I think OSHA has got to get involved here.”

Parfrey said a new A-frame system has made its way into flatbed use in recent years that is much safer for drivers and others to use. The use of A-frames that lack necessary strength, however, mean federal requirements are needed, he said.

“It’s going to have to be something that’s mandated from an agency like OSHA or FMCSA. It’s got to be mandated in the industry,” Parfrey said.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer