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Worker killed in compressed air explosion at a tire retread plant.

New Jersey Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 01NJ108, 2002 Jun; :1-10
On September 27, 2001, a 36-year-old male laborer at a tire retreading company was killed when a truck tire exploded as it was being filled with compressed air. There were no witnesses to the incident. The victim had been hired one week before the incident as a laborer for a small company that retreaded (recapped) truck tires. The victim came in early that morning before anyone else had arrived for work. He was let into the building by the manager of a neighboring auto body shop and was last seen doing chores from a list that had been left by his supervisor. At about 8:00 a.m., the victim may have tried to fill a truck tire undergoing the retread process with compressed air. An improperly installed air pressure regulator allowed too much air to enter the tire, causing it to explode. The manager of the body shop heard the loud explosion and went into the plant to find the victim bleeding from wounds caused by fragments of the exploding tire. Despite rescue attempts, the victim died of his injuries at the scene. NJ FACE investigators recommend following these safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents: 1. Employers should periodically inspect all process and safety equipment to ensure proper operation. 2. Employers should consider using safety valves on compressed air hoses that prevent the use of excessive air pressures. 3. Employers should ensure that employees are properly trained and supervised before permitting them to work alone. 4. Employers should conduct a job hazard analysis of all work activities with the participation of the workers. 5. Employers should become familiar with available resources on safety standards and safe work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Workshops; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-programs; Automobile-repair-shops
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-01NJ108; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division