This Safety and Health Information Bulletin is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. The Bulletin is advisory in nature, informational in content, and is intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. Pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, pursuant to Section 5(a)(1), the General Duty Clause of the Act, employers must provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
The purpose of this Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) is:
The Hartford Area Office has investigated several serious injuries and one fatality that occurred during the servicing of automobile and other small tires. The accidents occurred while employees were attempting to repair or service mismatched tires and rims. All the accidents resulted in employees sustaining severe head and arm injuries when the tire ruptured with explosive force. The pictures in this SHIB graphically portray the results when attempting to repair or service mismatched tires and rims.
OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.177, Servicing multi-piece and single piece rim wheels, applies only to the servicing of multi-piece and single piece rim wheels used on large vehicles such as trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and off-road machines. It does not apply to the servicing of rim wheels used on automobiles, or on pickup trucks, and vans utilizing automobile tires or truck tires designated "LT".
During the servicing or repair of automobile, light truck, and other small tires, employees use pressurized air to correctly position the tire against the rim flange. This procedure is referred to as "seating the bead." The tire bead is the inner edge of the tire that contacts the wheel flange and presses against the bead seat. The danger of serious injury or death is present if a tire of one bead diameter is installed on a rim or wheel of different rim diameter. While it is possible to pass a 16" diameter tire over the lip or flange of a 16.5" size diameter rim, it cannot be inflated enough to position itself against the rim flange. If an attempt is made to seat the tire bead by inflation, the tire bead could break with explosive force. The hazard is present if an employee tries to install a tire on the incorrect diameter rim or is attempting to inflate or service a tire that is already mounted on an incorrect rim. This can be especially hazardous if an employee attempts to repair or inflate a tire that is not properly secured to a tire mounting machine, the vehicle, or in a safety cage.
Follow tire manufacturers' procedures and recommendations during the servicing and repair of automobile, light truck, and other small tires. Tire servicing procedures should include:
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