QMEB ยป ‘Butter fingers’ suspected of causing tyre rim to eject
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‘Butter fingers’ suspected of causing tyre rim to eject

Wheel rim ejected
Wheel rim ejected

Failing to hold objects without dropping them could have helped launch a heavy vehicle part into the air.

Authorities are investigating how a 2.5-tonne haul truck wheel rim separated from the tyre and flew about 1.5 metres high at 5:45am on 15 December 2023 in an undisclosed mine site.

“Preliminary findings indicate that during the process of replacing the o-ring the tyre was rotated twice through 180 degrees. Each time it was dropped about 300mm to the floor, due to the rotational limitations of the tyre handler,” the New South Wales Resources Regulator said in a safety alert.

“The impact with the floor appears to have dislodged the components and lock ring. This appears to have allowed the rim to dislodge and be ejected during inflation.”

Investigators found the tyre pressure was only 10 pounds per square inch (psi) at the time of the incident. Recommended operating levels were between 116 psi and 131 psi.

They made the following recommendations:

  • establish no-go zones during inflation and handling
  • follow original equipment manufacturer (OEM) component compatibility guidance
  • follow OEM recommendations on discard criteria for lock rings
  • perform dimensional and fitment checks with detailed, stepped inflation processes
  • control line-of-fire risks through retaining rim components using engineering controls
  • ensure tyre handlers are capable of all intended tyre and wheel assembly handling processes.

Click here to read the full safety alert.

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