Burst Tyre Incident
A tyre fitter was changing the rear nearside drive axle inner tyre on a company articulated unit, which the driver of the vehicle had reported as defective on his daily pre start inspection.
As the tyre was being inflated and it reached the required pressure the sidewall failed causing the tyre to burst. The tyre fitter was knocked to the ground as a result of this release of air from the sidewall failure.
An ambulance was called and the tyre fitter checked over by paramedics, fortunately no injuries were sustained.
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
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LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
Although no-one was hurt during the incident, there was potential for serious injury and some key learning points identified during the investigation included:-
•The tyre fitter failed to follow the safe system of work which requires the tyre either to be fitted to the vehicle before inflating it and for the fitter to be located at a safe distance, or for a safety cage to be used. The fitter's positioning was incorrect when carrying out the task as he was standing in the impact zone – Where tyre inflation is undertaken by external contractors, do you check the safe system of work / method statements of service providers before they carry out all maintenance tasks? Do you issue a permit to work for the task? Do you periodically check that they are working safely?
•Due to the nature of the task, it could not be carried out in the agreed safe designated area on site – Wherever possible, do you allocate demarcated safe areas away from busy traffic routes for vehicle maintenance activities? Are drivers aware of the dangers associated with tyre inflation and do they stay out of the impact zone?
• Some sites have their own safe systems of work for tyre inflation. Do these systems require the use of tyre inflation cages / portable restraints as applicable? Are airline hoses long enough to allow the operator to stay outside the likely explosion trajectory during inflation? Are hoses fitted with an accurate in-line pressure gauge, a clip-on chuck to connect the airline with a quick-release coupling at the operator’s end (this allows tyre deflation from a safe position if problems occur). Are personnel who are required to use airlines trained, competent and adequately monitored / supervised?
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES
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