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Workers Killed While Servicing Tires

Workers Killed While Servicing Tires


I’m Olaf Knezevic, Engineer with WorkSafeBC. Tires can explode with devastating force,
causing injury or death. I’m going to describe three serious tire accidents. In the first accident, a worker was killed
while removing a tire from a log stacker. This stacker’s tires are mounted on rims made
up of several pieces, including an inner and outer rim. 16 bolts hold together the inner and outer
rim. 48 larger bolts attach the entire rim to the stacker’s hub. To get the wheel off the stacker, the worker
removed most of the large bolts while the tire was still inflated to about 90 psi. The remaining bolts had weakened over time
and could not handle the pressure. They sheared off or stripped. The outer rim and tire blasted towards the
worker, who was facing the tire. The worker was crushed between the tire and
his truck. The tremendous force of the impact can be
seen in the damage where the tire and worker hit the truck. In a second accident, a worker had just repaired
a crack in the rim by welding the rim with the tire still mounted but deflated. After completing the weld, the worker reinflated
the tire. The heat from the welding caused some tire
decomposition, which produced flammable gases. When the worker inflated the tire, the additional
air led to a fire inside the tire, causing it to explode. The huge force of the explosion separated
the tread into 4 flaps, folding them over. One flap struck the worker, causing fatal
injuries. In a third accident, a worker was inflating
a new tractor tire that he had just mounted on a rim. The tire and rim were laid flat on the ground
and the worker was positioned over the tire. The bead of the tire would not seat. To force the bead to seat, the worker kept
adding air. It was too much. The bead burst over the rim flange, catapulting
the worker and tire into the air. The worker fell back down, hit the concrete
driveway, and sustained serious injuries. The tire continued upwards and struck the
underside of the shop canopy. Death or injury could have been prevented
in all three accidents by the following safe work practices. With a multi-piece rim, always fully deflate
the tire before loosening the wheel nuts or bolts. When inflating multi-piece rim and tire assemblies,
always use a suitable restraining device, such as a safety cage, a safety T-bar, or
safety chains. This is also a safe work practice for single-piece
rim and tire assemblies. Keep out of the trajectory when handling or
inflating tires. Inflate tires to the recommended pressure
using a clamp-on air chuck and an in-line valve and gauge. The hose should be long enough to allow the
worker to keep out of the trajectory. Safe tire servicing requires proper equipment,
training, and procedures. Refer to the tire manufacturer’s instructions
for more safe work procedures and remember to always work safely.

39 comments on “Workers Killed While Servicing Tires

  1. This was one of our earliest slide shows. As a result, audio only plays from one speaker or headphone. Thanks for your understanding.

  2. Anything under pressure is dangerous. I was taught to change truck tyres with bead breakers and levers. I was shown how to clean the rim and split ring and make sure everything fitted well when put back. I was taught to always use a cage to inflate and inspect as it was seating and being inflated. I was shown a split rim embedded at 90 degrees into a hardwood tree and how if it hit a person it would cut in half. It comes down to being trained and responsible. when someone is injured by negligence or incompetence think where you will be legally placed when sitting at an inquest.

  3. A split rim exploded on my dad when he was young. It ripped his skin in half from his arm pit to his ankle. He said he was just working, blacked out and woke up in the hospital days later. Luckily he survived. Be safe people. By the way, don't be an idiot and use flammable liquids to set beads only douchebags do that. Get the right equipment and CHARGE $$$ for the use of that equipment, respect your tools and your labor. Be safe.

  4. I did tractor tire service work for a local truck stop that owns hundreds of locations. And I can tell you the LAZINESS AND STUPIDITY is very prevalent in this industry!! They talk a good game about safety but when it comes down to it its GET IT DONE AND SAFETY TAKES A BACK SEAT TO TIME SPENT DOING IT!!!

  5. If your inflating split rims ( spiders ) and no cage is available lay the tyre under the chassis of the truck/ trailer before inflating it…

  6. These 3 good men who worked to build our nations united civilization are remembered and honored for their service to the "BUILDER" are blessed with rest and given new life into forever. I give peace to their loved ones and joy to the truth that one day we are all united.

  7. I heard a story of a tire exploding throwing a worker onto a tire mounting machine impaling him through his back side

  8. My bro had a tractor tire blow up and broke his leg. Had a steel jig with six pins going thru his leg for 18 months, Lost about 2 inches of length on his leg. At least he lived and learned.

  9. Happen to My Dad, the tire blew the ring straight up, after breaking both his fore arms and wrist, and went thru the Roof, no safety cage

  10. Split rims are dangerous. If you don't have a tire cage at least wrap a heavy chain through them. Another thing, brake pods of a semi. EXTREMELY dangerous. In fact it's recommend that to dispose of them, you dig a deep hole and bury the things. Don't EVER try to take those things apart to repair them. Buy new pods. It's not worth the risk. Remember, the springs that, when parked, hold 80,000 lbs (or more) of truck, trailer and load are inside the pods.

  11. neighbor just opened a brand new tire shop. he stayed late one nite to change a tire . he did not use the cage. The split rim exploded and killed him. his wife found him the next day. tire shop closed.

  12. My family has been farmers, and mechanics since the 1920's, and we also sold, repaired, and changed car, truck, and tractor tires. I started changing the old split rim 16" truck tires when I was 14, and graduated to semi and tractor tires when I was 16. The only time I'd inflate a split rim outide of a cage was if it was an inside dual. While we never had any injuries, we did have a couple of rims let loose, scaring the crap out of me. When I graduated I joined the Army, and then went into Law Enforcement. I still worked the farm, but left the tires to my cousins!

  13. We had a tire guy who came in and did all our heavy equipment when I worked at Squaw Valley years ago. He had been terribly injured from a tire explosion.

  14. back in the days of split rims when no one had these cages we used to put a split rim under the arms of our hydraulic car lifts before airing them up in case they blew apart – – as for the first one why would you be releasing the bolts that hold a rim together , even partially, with the tire pressurized that makes no sense at all – – that would be like putting a new battery in the detonator box while the wires were still attached to the dynamite

  15. It happened to my friend and he almost lost his leg he is crippled for life now that happened about 4 or 5 years ago you don’t fuck with tires and air

  16. A dozen years on, are folks still getting killed off this way? Let's be careful out there so we don't get hosed. Cheers!

  17. back in the sixties I saw a man killed like this he left the air connector on pumping air into the tyre I was just going out of the door when the man went over to check the tyre and bang he hit the celling and came down already dead .

  18. You Ever have 28 foot tall glass windowed
    roll up door come crashing down on you?
    It was in 1983 iat a Santa Clara tire shop at closing time.
    Good thing that my elementary school tought us the ATOM BOMB "Duck And Cover" manuver.
    or i would have died that day. 😬 😮

  19. first story, still cant figure out why he didnt take the rim apart on the hub or at the very least deflated it before you start un-doing nuts! yes, i was a tyre fitter in the past and seen some accidents myself with split rims and such

  20. When I was in the army from 1989 to 1992 they had the split ring on the 2 1/2 ton truck tires one blew off inside the tire Cage it was just luck no one got hurt

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