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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200990950 - Employees Is Killed When Struck By Flying Object

Accident: 200990950 -- Report ID: 0551800 -- Event Date: 05/01/2004
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30686370501/27/20045311Wal-Mart #2818
On May 1, 2004, a vehicle was brought into the service bay for installation of a new set of tires. The coworkers placed the vehicle on the bay rack and started removing the wheels from the vehicle. After the wheels were off, they began dismounting the old tires using the tire changing machine. They began to mount the new tires, but could not get the tires to seat on the rim. Employee #1, the service manager, was called and the coworkers explained the problem they were having to him. Employee #1 sprayed WD-40, a flammable lubricant with a low flashpoint, on the wheel rim and had the coworkers try to remount the tires. The bead still would not seal to the rim. Employee #1 then had the coworkers remove the wheel from the tire changing machine, and move it to the air hose that is used to operate the pneumatic shop tools. The air pressure on the tool air line had the air regulator set at 120 psi. The tire fill air line at the tire changing machine had the air regulator set at 40 psi. The 40 psi pressure is the maximum air pressure to inflate tires, as outlined in the company tire changing procedures. The coworkers began to try to seal and inflate the tire that they had moved to the air hose. As the air pressure got to 90 psi, the side wall and bead of the tire ruptured, causing the tire and wheel to fly off. It struck Employee #1 and a coworker, injuring them. Employee #1 was taken to the hospital, where he later died. After the accident, it was determined that tires they were attempting to mount were 16-inch and the wheels were 16.5-inch. There was a warning on the tire side wall regarding attempting to mount the tire on a 16.5-inch rim. There was also a 50 psi maximum inflation warning on the tire side wall. Both these warnings were either not seen, or ignored by the workers.
Keywords: wheel, air pressure, tire bead, struck by, flying object, tire rim, motor vehicle, tire
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 306863705 Fatality Fracture Technicians, n.e.c.

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