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.


100 thoughts on “Workers Killed While Servicing Tires”

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

  • Robert Harrison says:

    I spent nine months as a tyre fitter before moving to another area many years ago, one of the happiest jobs I had. I enjoyed meeting customers and travelling into the countrywide to outlying farms, yes the work could be hard and dirty. There was little by way of safe working practices in those days, the risks being acknowledged. There was a poster on the wall entitled The Imprint Of Death , it pictured in the grime on the ceiling the shape of a worker who had been thrown up there by the force of a tyre exploding, that poster is still used as a warning 50 years on.

  • I remember when I was inflating a split rim tire, my father came storming over and yelled at me to stop. He then showed me how to wrap it tightly with a heavy chain to keep the rim from flying apart while I was inflating the tire.

  • We had a fitter decapitated blowing up a machine tyre, no cage, complacency, lead to instant death. Same thing with gas bottles, lay them down, because if they fall over and smash the regulator off, they will go off like a torpedo. I had a van fire, oxygen and acetylene , the acetylene bottle blew on the side wall,( massive bang) but the oxygen bottle didn't. The fire service said if the oxygen bottle blew, we would all be dead, we were actually trying to put the fire out when they arrived, and they would not go near it.

  • my cousin worked as maintenance working on garbage trucks. he would often use lighter fluid to seal tires but would run a line of fuel a good ways away from the tire so he could be out of harms way should something go wrong. too bad he worked for such a cheap jack-leg outfit that did not equip the shop with proper tools but at least he was smart enough to be clear of the tire when igniting it.

  • Big tires should only be serviced in a protective cage. You monkeys that play with fire deserve to get burned. People save money on many things usually safety
    Sorry for anyone's loss but wake the fuck up people. Why is there a cage for struts

  • There are various videos on TouTube showing people using some kind of igniter and flammable spray to get the tyre to resit back onto the wheel rim to finish the job. We are guessing they are risking a bad accident?

  • Allan Brogdon says:

    I remember watching an old black man at ups in Dallas around 1980.He would lay out around 6 large truck wheels on the floor and go at them with a large hammer.Very skilled and fast all by ✋

  • Paddy Rhatigan says:

    Always have the fear of a Tyre exploding when inflating one. Very good video.
    ???? ☎???????????????

  • James Griffin says:

    I had a bicycle tire explode the other day. That was loud, so imagining one of those big ones blowing up, that has to be tremendous.

  • Rondo Hunter says:

    Reminds me of a country song I'm going to write. Goes something like this, "Mama's don't let your babies grow up to be tire changers."

  • brandy Tipene says:

    If only these so called tyre specialists had of watched this video & taken heed in this guy's advice ?
    Perhaps they would be around today?

  • I’ve always worried about the little tire exploding on my wheelbarrow when I inflate it. I had no idea all this was actually happening.

  • and yet you'll have idiots making youtube vids telling you overfilling a tire is ok when youre trying to set the bead or find a leak.dont do it!

  • Michael Prokop says:

    I had this friend years ago who was working on a small truck tire with a split rim. Instead of using a cage, he put the tire between his legs as he inflated the tire. The rim blew apart, breaking every bone in both of his legs and his pelvis was shattered. He never walked right again. He is lucky he wasn't killed.

  • Many shops simply refuse to work on those old split rim tires. I remember the old man changing those as a kid. Was always telling me get outta here when he was!?

  • Skümmtööns '66 says:

    Moral of the story: leave tire repairs to the qualified trained professionals.
    And shame on the ones who clicked to see Actual fatal mishaps on video.
    Sickos! ??

  • One night i was on the freeway and glanced over at the car on my left. There was a woman driving an older car with kids in the back. Her entire passenger side rear wheel was glowing cherry red just like a taillight. She must have had a bad bearing or maybe a stuck brake shoe. I managed to get her to pull over after a few harrowing minutes of trying to communicate with her through the window at 65 mph. I have always wondered why that tire didn't blow up.

  • Defate the tire .and nothing will happen to you .simple has that .stupid in patient workers cause their own injurys

  • Let us hope (an pray) that as a result of these investigations, people aren't injured or killed. thro bad working practices and unsafe methods, trying to cut corners.

     U only have 1 life, look after it!

  • Not accidents, .there are."safety violations" in all.
    An accident is a.random event with no prior warning or right way procedures involved, those guys COMMITED suicide by negligence or ignorance.

  • marshall baldwin says:

    My first lesson in tire repair safety came about 1959 9 years old i went with my dad in a tow truck to deliver a truck tractor and pick up the one that broke down the truck was parked near the shop guy was adding air to a tire he reached over to take the chuck off when the ring let lose made a mess out of his head never forgot dad showed me how to do one safely i have never forgotten

  • Back in the 80s I was a mechanic in a Amoco service station. Came into the shop on Saturday morning and there's a huge dent in the ceiling. Asked what's up with that. Found out that fix a flat was flammable and the dent was from the tire techs body . Dude was straddling the tire when it exploded.

  • Brian Waiting says:

    Knowledge about what your doing a must! 90% of this was laziness and ingnorence! If you disagree, go riot in the streets. ¬.^

  • Gerald Sanchez says:

    Text a lot of those creep ass wheels on forklifts when inflating those I back a truck up against the wall up against so a truck at the tire in the wall I had a lawn mower tire blow up one time and knock me flat on my rear

  • When I worked the service station 50 years ago my boss always insisted I wrap a chain around 2 and 3 piece trims 2 sides to control it if the ring blew off

  • I worked for Brad Ragan tire company back in the mid seventies. One day a tire blew up on a guy using a skiver, it ripped the front of his shirt open with all the buttons missing and also blinded the man for a few days. I also had a tire blow up on myself while running a buffer which cut the old rubber off so the tire could be recapped. These were what we called Puerto Rico singles, actually just tractor trailer tires. They had been recapped so many times before they would have never been legally allowed on roads in America. Happy motoring Puerto Rico! ?

  • cosgrove notts says:

    It's a pity that outside contractors doing tyres have difficulty inflating to correct pressures, fitting valve extensions and dust caps, cleaning wheel mating surfaces, lubricating collars, sequence tightening and re-torque procedure.
    Ones I see in my local area on call have no proper work ethic that I have seen in my observations of 47 years in a related job.

  • I saw this video and decided to view it. Reason being. I lived in a little town in SW Georgia back in the latter '90's. In a town next to mine, there was a shop there that repaired tires and rims (etc). Two brothers worked in this shop.

    One day one of the brothers had just finished changing out rims on a pickup truck. After doing so, he inflated the tires to the proper air pressure and was about to lower the truck off the rack. But noticed some spot on one of the rims that required a weld. He grabbed his torch and made the weld.

    You may have guessed it already. He failed to deflate the tire before he made the weld – or better yet, dismount the tire and take it back off the rim/wheel to do the job.

    It did not take long before the heat of the weld transferred to the air in the tire, greatly expanding the air, and then the inevitable happened.

    The explosion rocked the whole commercial area around there. The pickup truck was shot back off the rack in the opposite direction of the blast and was hanging off of it. The exploded tire tore the rim/wheel in two; the outer half flying across the bay striking the wall. But not before taking the face and front part of the skull off one of the brothers – the one working on the tire of this truck. His brother was also injured severly. He was asking how his brother was. No one wanted to tell him what happened to him. It was not a good sight.

    I gained an even greater appreciation and respect for the tremendous power of the physics that are involved in the heating and expansion of air (and H2O).

    Ignorance is NOT bliss. And what you DON'T know CAN KILL YOU!

    "My people are destroyed [perish] for lack of knowledge…" It goes on to say that "…because though hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…"

    To make an application, as an electrician; I had BETTER BE VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE about electrical theory and POSSESS PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE in the field – or I can get myself or others injured or killed, burn property or set up future scenarios that may endanger others. Training.

    I have come in contact with those who are too proud and stubbornly STUPID to consider their ignorance is not an 'asset'. There are different kinds of fools. Those who REFUSE TO TAKE sound advise and warnings, they go their way – and suffer the consequences of their pride, stubbornness and stupidity.

    Then there are other fools, who WHEN they witness the previous kind of fool (I call them 'full-time-fools') suffer the fate of their folly; THEY, take a lesson from it.

    This video reminded me (refreshed my mind) to stay clear of shops where these 'accidents' might occur, due to others failure to appreciate how their ignorance might lead to their death or mine.

  • Álvaro George Nobre George says:

    Down here in Brasil I show this kind vídeos to several tyre repair guys because they don't wan use tha cage.

  • Dwight St John says:

    "Split rims" should have long, long ago gone way of the DoDo. No excuse and you don't need them anymore. But you do need a safety cage. this is 2019, not 1919.

  • 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.

  • nasser samano says:

    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.

  • 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!!!

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

  • 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.

  • Brandon68plus1 says:

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • LectronCircuits says:

    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!

  • 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 .

  • 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. ? ?

  • 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

  • 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

  • When I was 18 years old ( late 70's) I just started a part time job at a service center. A semi pulled up and wanted air added to a tire that was on the truck. Vic the older mechanic was right there but ask me to do it. I did it and went on with my duties. Not until years later did I discover just how dangerous that was when no cages were required. Vic if your out there and you see this, FUCK YOU!

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