It is essential that tyre removal, replacement and inflation should be tackled only by competent staff and that staff comply with all applicable fitting and safety instructions.
Manual handling injuries account for nearly a half of all tyre-related incidents. Manual handling is the lifting, carrying, supporting or moving of heavy or bulky loads by hand or bodily force. These are usually caused as a result of a single lift of a heavy object. This is the cause of over 30% of all injuries in motor vehicle repairs.
Less common but potentially more dangerous are compressed air accidents of larger tyres. These can be from a ruptured or burst tyre or violent separation of the component parts of the wheel. These accidents are more serious and result in more serious injuries, including fatalities.
The reasons are that inflated tyres contain a large amount of stored energy, which varies according to the inflation pressure and the surface area of the tyre (e.g. the sidewall of a typical commercial vehicle tyre has to withstand over 34 tonnes of force from compressed air before additional carriage weight is taken into account).
If the tyre fails, an explosive force can be released at an angle of up to 45 degrees from the rupture, which is often, but not always, the face of the sidewall. This has resulted in numerous fatalities over the years in the UK and across the world.
Tyre damage can be difficult to see and diagnose
As a safety precaution the condition of wheels and tyres should be checked at the ‘before use’ inspection for defects such as fatigue cracks in the wheel and bulges in the tyre wall. The person carrying out the examination should be competent to examine the type of wheel.
If safety critical defects are identified the wheel/tyre should be withdrawn from use. You should not attempt to repair a wheel as repairs to wheels and their components can affect the strength and integrity of the assembly. It is strongly recommended, for your own safety and efficiently, that you contact a specialist tyre repair and replacement company.