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Warehouse Safety

It's been more than two years since a tragic accident killed a young Tallahassee boy. Now, his parents are on a mission to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Richard and Cheryl Moeller are also getting some help from the state. Back in 2002 the Moeller's were shopping at the Unique Marble and Granite store on Tharpe Street when a 600 pound slab of marble fell over, killing their child.

Today they still see safety hazards at the same shop and want the public to beware.

A heart necklace carrying a picture of her son still hangs around Cheryl Moeller’s neck, a reminder of seven-year-old Brandon who was crushed beneath a marble slab at the Tallahassee store in 2002, a tragic accident Cheryl believes could have been prevented.

Cheryl and her husband Richard fear another accident could happen outside the same shop where granite slabs still appear to be unstrapped and unattended.

Richard Moeller says, “To be outside unattended causes great concern knowing each slab weighs 600 pounds, I already know what will happen if it falls on you.”

We spoke with the owner of Unique Marble and Granite who says his metal A-frames are safe and secure, but some say that's where it gets tricky. There isn't a law written to enforce safety standards for displays in Florida. It's a problem the state is trying to resolve.

“We can engage industry to try and put peer pressure on warehouses to institute safety measures that will ensure this doesn't happen again,” says Rep. Loranne Ausley, (D) Tallahassee.

Rather than make it law, Ausley believes retailers big and small can learn from each other, a theory the Florida retail federation is working on.

Bill Herrle with the Florida Retail Federation says, “We are launching program where retailers share best and latest technology for safe product display.”

Herrle hopes to launch the program this summer. The state is optimistic, as are the Moeller’s who don't want their tragedy relived.

We also spoke to an official with the Retail Association in Georgia who says she is unaware of any product display safety laws in Georgia.

There was legislation on the table at one point designed to force warehouse owners to make changes in Florida. Rep. Ausley was pushing for it to pass, but then reached common ground with the Retail Federation saying that a one-size fits all law isn't the best option.

Both want to give this program a chance. If it doesn't work come next year Ausley will again push for legislation.


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