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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On April 22, 1998, a 39-year old maintenance worker with 8 years of mining experience was killed and two coworkers seriously injured at a limestone operation. A scraper tire was placed flat on the ground and they were attempting to remove the brake drum from the rim. The tire was not deflated and they had used an oxygen/acetylene torch to cut the brake drum when the tire exploded.

Best Practices

  • Never apply a heat source to a tire rim/hub until the tire is removed from the rim/hub assembly.
  • The manufacturer's guidelines for tire and brake drum removal should be consulted and followed.
  • Tire and rim safety training should be provided to maintenance personnel who are required to service tires and rims.
  • MSHA Publication IG 60, "Tire and Rim Safety Awareness Program" is available from the National Mine Health & Safety Academy or on the Internet at The file is in PDF.

    This is the sixteenth fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were 23 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Exploding Vessels Under Pressure in 1998. There was one fatality classified as Exploding Vessels Under Pressure in the same period in 1997.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report