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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 28, 1998, a 64-year old maintenance man with 30 years mining experience was fatally injured while inflating a tire on a fuel truck. The tire's two-piece steel wheel had deteriorated and exploded while being inflated. The truck had not been used for several years and the tire had been flat for an extended period of time. The victim was not using a pressure gauge or a stand-off inflation device.

Best Practices

  • A wheel cage or stand-off inflation device should be used to protect persons while inflating tires.
  • Persons should not service wheel rims unless they have been trained in the manufacturers2 recommended procedures.
  • Tires should not be inflated to a higher pressure than is recommended by the manufacturer.
  • 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 37th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were 47 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the third fatality classified as Exploding Vessels Under Pressure in 1998. There was one Exploding Vessels Under Pressure fatality in the same period in 1997. (Please note the 1997 final fatality count was changed from 60 to 61 after the close of the calendar year).

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