Quarry Tool Box Talks

Course Bundle Details

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The Natural Stone Institute and the National Building Granite Quarries Association (NBGQA) are committed to providing quality safety education for the stone industry.  This course bundle was sponsored by the NBGQA to educate quarry employees on quarrying best practices.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor:

We would like to thank the National Building Granite Quarries Association (NBGQA) for their cooperation and assistance developing this safety resource. We are grateful for their commitment to the safety and health to the people of the dimension stone industry.

Courses in Quarry Tool Box Talks
  • TQ102: Tool Box Talk- Safe Work Procedures: Shortcuts (Quarry)

    True or False? Nearly everyone we know uses shortcuts to get the job done.  Answer: Generally yes.  Even though we all use shortcuts in our daily routines, we must be aware of the dangers that shortcuts expose us to. There are two ways to work. Often the safe way is not the fastest or easiest way.

  • TQ103: Tool Box Talk- Safe Work Procedures: Teamwork (Quarry)

    Teamwork is a cooperative or coordinated effort by a group of persons working together as a team in the pursuit of a common cause. Safety is our common cause. Safety procedures are developed from the combined experience of people working in conditions like yours. There is no regulation or law enforcing working as a team – but personnel records will show how well you play with others!

  • TQ114: Tool Box Talk- Eye and Face Safety and PPE Overview (Quarry)

    MSHA requires employers to require employees to wear eye and face protection from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids and other hazardous chemicals, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation. Over 1000 eye and face injuries occur in the workplace every day. According to OSHA, these injuries cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation. Many of these injuries result in severe pain and suffering with some resulting in partial or total blindness. Eye and face injuries can be prevented if the hazards are recognized and with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection.

  • TQ115: Tool Box Talk- PPE Foot Protection Overview (Quarry)

    MSHA requires workers to use protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard. Additionally, protective footwear may be required to protect against other hazards, e.g., wet conditions and exposure to chemicals.


  • TQ116: Tool Box Talk- PPE Hand and Arm Safety (Quarry)

    MSHA requires employers to select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes. This applies equally to the arms. Over 100,000 lost time hand and arm injuries typically occur every year in the workplace. Hand and arm injuries can be prevented if the hazards are recognized and with the proper selection and use of hand and arm protection.

  • TQ117: Tool Box Talk- PPE Head Protection Overview (Quarry)

    MSHA requires head protection if there is a risk from falling objects or there is a risk from contact with live electrical conductors. Many hazards can be controlled with proper work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE). Wearing appropriate head protection can prevent serious injuries.

  • TQ118: Tool Box Talk- Hearing Conservation Overview (Quarry)

    Repeated exposure to elevated levels of noise can cause hearing loss. Once it occurs, hearing loss is permanent and cannot be reversed. MSHA requires employers to evaluate noise level exposures in the workplace. If exposure exceeds the Action Level of 85 dBA/8-hour time weighted average (TWA), the miner must be enrolled in a hearing conservation program and offered hearing protection. If the permissible exposure level (PEL) exceeds 90 dBA/8-hour time weighted average then hearing protection use is mandatory. Noise induced hearing loss can be prevented. Use of hearing protection is equally applicable at home as it is in the workplace.

  • TQ130: Tool Box Talk- Equipment Maintenance (Quarry)

    Properly maintaining, repairing, cleaning, and storing construction equipment can help prevent injuries and deaths. It is not only important to perform proper maintenance for the sake of the equipment, but this can prove helpful for the individuals using the equipment.

  • TQ133: Tool Box Talk- Lockout... Tagout... Tryout! (Quarry)

    Ensuring equipment is at a zero energy state and the energy source isolated or rendered inoperative so that the energy source cannot be re-energized is a necessary and required life critical process when performing equipment servicing and maintenance. Lockout/tagout is required when the servicing and maintaining machines and equipment and the unexpected energization or startup of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. Servicing or maintenance activities include constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, and modifying machines or equipment. Specific activities include but are not limited to lubricating, cleaning or unjamming machines and making adjustments or tool changes.

  • TQ138: Tool Box Talk- Getting On and Off Equipment (Quarry)

    Quarriers use many different types of mobile equipment in their daily operations. Workers should be trained in the proper use, including mounting and dismounting, prior to utilizing equipment. It is important to know the locations of stairs and ladders for climbing as well as handles and bars for gripping. Failing to maintain three points of contact with the equipment has resulted in numerous injuries. The three points of contact rule is simple —always maintain one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot, when climbing or descending ladders, trucks and equipment. When climbing a ladder, you must have both hands free and face the ladder.

  • TQ139: Tool Box Talk- Suspended Loads (Quarry)

    The law of gravity cannot be amended or changed. However what goes up needn’t come down, at least not on top of anyone. When lifting loads by way of a hoist, crane, or even a set of come-a-longs, keep these thoughts from this session in mind.

  • TQ211: Tool Box Talk- Heat Illness Prevention (Quarry)

    Heat is a serious hazard in the workplace. Heat related illness if not attended to can lead to serious and life-threatening injuries.


  • TQ212: Tool Box Talk- What is Crystalline Silica? (Quarry)

    Over- exposure to respirable crystalline silica particles can lead to serious, sometimes fatal illnesses including silicosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis (in those with silicosis), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, silica exposure has been linked to other illnesses including renal disease and other cancers. Silicosis is a progressive disease and there is no cure upon its onset, thus minimizing your exposure to respirable crystalline silica is the key to prevention.

  • TQ230: Tool Box Talk- Fire, Flammable Liquids, and Fire Extinguishers (Quarry)

    Fire safety rules are so commonplace that many of us have become indifferent toward them. This lack of personal interest has been responsible for many fires and on-the job accidents.

  • TQ234: Tool Box Talk- Compressed Air Safety (Quarry)

    Compressed air as it name implies is gas under pressure. If used improperly, compressed air poses several hazards and can even cause death.

  • TQ235: Tool Box Talk- Chain Hoist and Come-a-longs (Quarry)

    Whatever the name – come-a-long, chain fall, ratcheting chain lever, etc. – hand operated hoists and their chains have many applications in our work. Typical applications include hoisting pipe or a plate into position for welding or bolting, moving machinery, fence stretching and lifting engines or equipment during repairs. These devices are simple to operate however misuse can result in sudden failure, property damage, and serious injury. Today we are going to briefly cover their proper use.

  • TQ236: Tool Box Talk- Crystalline Silica Exposure Prevention (Quarry)

    Exposure to crystalline silica often occurs as part of common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, grinding/sanding and crushing of natural and engineered stone products such as granite and slate and also in the quarrying of these materials. Over-exposure can lead to serious, sometimes fatal illnesses including silicosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis (in those with silicosis) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The best method to prevent a crystalline silica exposure related disease is to minimize exposure to crystalline silica.

  • TQ237: Tool Box Talk- Hand Tools, Striking Tools, Pry Bars (Quarry)

    Hand tools are tools that are powered manually. Hand tools include anything from axes to wrenches. Hand tool operation influences the daily lives of all workers. The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance. As a result, it is necessary that everyone be aware of safe hand tool practices and follows those practices. Without the use of hand tools, the completion of our work would be nearly impossible. Yet, as vital as they are, hand tools are often the cause of serious accidents. All too frequently, hand tools are used improperly or when they are defective. Since we use hand tools continually, it is important they be used properly. We are going to briefly cover proper use today.

  • TQ238: Tool Box Talk- Wire Saw Safety Module (Quarry)

    Operating a wire saw is a specialized task that can be safely performed only with adequate training and experience. Wire saw operators are also responsible for basic upkeep of the machine and safety in its operation.

    Job Description: A wire saw operator uses a wire saw machine to cut large blocks of stone out from the quarry.  Wire saw machines are large machines that use diamond-impregnated beads on a cable to cut through various types of stone. Wire saws are also used for squaring blocks of stone before transporting them to the production plant.

  • TQ240: Tool Box Talk- Quarry Slab Tipping Safety (Quarry)

    Stone slabs (aka ‘loaves’) are separated from the quarry wall and shelf by a method known as tipping.  Slab tipping is a specialized task that can be safely performed after adequate training.  Slab tipping is accomplished by inserting a specialized wedge (e.g., piston jacks, metal cushions filled with compressed water) into the saw gap to open it enough so the slab can be pushed from above or pulled from below by machine onto a bed of rubble previously prepared on the quarry floor. At this point the loaf is sub-divided into blocks that meet the customer’s size and characteristics requirements.  Prevent the movement of stone during secondary cutting operations.  Material to be cut, other than hanging material, must be positioned or blocked to prevent movement which would endanger persons in the work area. Secondary segregation must be performed from a location which would not expose persons to danger.

  • TQ247: Tool Box Talk- Portable Electric Power Tool Safety (Quarry)

    Because power tools are so common in our industry, you are constantly exposed to a variety of hazards. The very tool that makes your job easy and efficient may one day be the cause of a tragic accident.

  • TQ249: Tool Box Talk- Operating Service Pickup Trucks (Quarry)

    Pickup trucks are everywhere. Everybody has one. Consumer Reports magazine recently asked (FEB 2018), “Are Pickup Trucks Becoming the New Family Car?” So what so different about driving them in and around a quarry? As pickup trucks move through mines and plants, they encounter the pace of activity, heavy equipment, workers on foot, and volumes of materials, and numerous hazards. Safe operation of pickup trucks on mine sites must be everyone’s concern

  • TQ250: Tool Box Talk- Ramp and Dumping Facilities (Quarry)

    Safely working in the area of any heavy equipment requires the shared responsibility of both the equipment operator and their coworkers. This can even apply to pedestrians traveling on the road. The hazards do not go away when the equipment leaves the project or facility.

  • TQ253: Tool Box Talk- Aerial Lifts and Elevated Platforms (Quarry)

    Aerial lifts and elevated platforms provide you with a quick, easy way to accesselevated work areas. Used safely, they increase efficiency and reduce costs. Unsafe use canresult in serious accidents or death.

  • TQ254: Tool Box Talk- General Welding Safety (Quarry)

    Health hazards from welding, cutting, and brazing operations include exposures to metal fumes and to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Safety hazards from these operations include burns, eye damage, electrical shock, cuts, and crushed toes and fingers. Many of these can be controlled with proper work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • TQ255: Tool Box Talk- Fall Arrest System Regulations (Quarry)

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are Department of Labor agencies. MSHA regulates roughly 12,000 mining and processing locations. OSHA regulates employers everywhere else. Some federal funds support optional state OSHA approved programs. In California, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health inspects mines, but it uses non-federal funds for this activity. States may enforce mine safety but they cannot contradict MSHA.

    The authority of the two agencies is mutually exclusive. Occasionally, mine inspectors will claim a right to inspect a location not previously considered a mine. Similarly, OSHA inspectors may claim jurisdiction at a site MSHA regulates. In order to minimize jurisdictional conflicts, MSHA and OSHA signed a memorandum of understanding in 1979 whereby the two agencies designated which types of facilities are and are not mines. 

    However, the agreement did not anticipated every situation. There are frequent occasions when the law, agency policy and legal decisions must be consulted to evaluate which agency has jurisdiction.

    Likewise, the laws and regulations of each agency are different. Both agencies have extensive rules to prevent injuries, but the approach and requirements for each are distinct.

  • TQ340: Tool Box Talk- Highwall Management & Use of Drones (Quarry)

    Unexpected rock movement can cause injuries, endanger lives, and can potentially result in a mine catastrophe. Even relatively shallow quarries can experience devastating consequences from slope failure. Using drones can help monitor conditions.

    Exposure to cracks and seams are common to natural stone mining operations. Strict evaluation of the structural integrity of the stone deposit should be made before entering an area. The entire crew shares this responsibility (see something, say something). Auditing and team work combined with pre-shift workplace examinations are the tools that everyone needs to utilize in "following the cracks" to avoid the hazard of falling rock.