On October 16, 2003, a 42-year-old male laborer (the victim) was fatally injured while inflating a front-end loader's tire mounted on a multi-piece rim. The loader's front left tire had gone completely flat preventing the loader from being moved out of the garage location where it was parked. The victim was sitting in a chair approximately 12 inches from the tire's sidewall while inflating the tire when increased air pressure caused the tire tube to explode. The explosion knocked the victim backwards. A tractor-trailer driver, waiting to access the garage, heard the explosion, found the victim on the ground, and informed the company of the incident. A 911 call was placed and a company employee ran to a neighboring building that housed the Ambulance Response Headquarters. Several employees of the Ambulance Response Headquarters immediately responded to the scene and attended to the victim. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from the 911 call responded to the incident site within minutes and transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Ensure that tires mounted on multi-piece rims that are flat or under inflated (the tire has less than 80% of recommended pressure) are never re-inflated while the wheel is on the vehicle. Once the wheel is off of the vehicle, the rim should be disassembled, inspected, reassembled, re-inflated and placed back on the vehicle. 2. Ensure that employees never position themselves in front of or over tires mounted on multi-piece rims during tire inflation. 4. Develop standard operating procedures (SOP) for servicing multi-piece rims and provide training on these procedures. 5. Develop, implement and enforce equipment maintenance programs that include inspecting all equipment for defects and having only trained workers service multi-piece rim wheels when problems are identified.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Maintenance-workers; Equipment-operators