Man failed to use safety cage when killed by exploding tyre

A coroner has found a tyre inflation accident that killed a man two years ago blasted fragments of his clothing from his body — some of which were later found in the ceiling insulation.

The 32-year-old father of two, identified in coroner Robert Webster’s report as “EL”, died on the May 1, 2020, in his workplace in Bracknell in Tasmania’s north.

Mr Webster found the experienced truck driver and mechanic died from blast injuries, including “an extensive subarachnoid haemorrhage and pulmonary haemorrhage”, or bleeding around the brain and into the lungs.

EL was reinflating a tyre when it exploded, with the blast knocking him backwards onto the ground with lethal force.

An examination of the scene revealed fragments of EL’s work shirt were found all over the workshop, including his collar on a high shelf 4.5 metres from where he was working.

His shirt pocket was embedded in the ceiling almost six metres away and cotton fibres on a wall almost four metres up.

Body found by workmates
The coroner found EL did not follow safety procedures.

“This tyre, which was damaged, was inflated to the point where it burst, causing blast injuries which led to EL’s death,” Mr Webster said.

“Despite EL’s experience, he made the decision to inflate a faulty tyre on a rim without using a safety cage, which was available, and without using a regulator on the airline which would have controlled the extent of the pressure used to inflate the tyre.”

“This case serves as a timely reminder that a failure to follow basic safety procedures, even by experienced and ordinarily safety conscious employees, can have tragic consequences.”

EL’s body was found by two of his colleagues about three hours after he died.

One of them saw a blown tyre on the fitting machine and the air compressor “going flat out”.

They attempted CPR but were unsuccessful.

No alcohol or drugs were found in EL’s system.

Mr Webster found EL had 17 years’ experience as a mechanic across northern Tasmania.

His wife, identified as “RT”, said her husband was “an extremely hard worker who was very dedicated to his work”.

Mr Webster said EL was “very well respected by his employer and he was diligent and hard working.”

He extended his condolences to EL’s family and loved ones and did not make any recommendations.

Source: ABC News

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