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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On February 17, 1999, a 35-year-old  technician (contractor operator)  with 10 years experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel operation. The victim used a fork lift attached to a chain while attempting to remove a wheel assembly from a dump trailer in preparation to repair the brakes. After these attempts failed to free the wheel, he applied heat to the back side of the wheel with an oxygen/acetylene torch and the tire ruptured.

Fatal Gram Picture

Best Practices

  • Never apply a heat source to a tire rim/hub until the tire has been removed from the rim/hub assembly.

  • The manufacturer's guidelines for wheel 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 tenth fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1998, there were eight fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Exploding Vessels Under Pressure in 1999. There were no Exploding Vessels Under Pressure fatalities in the same period in 1998.

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