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Heavy Tyre Explosions - Equivalent to being Hit by a Truck

18 Jul 2011 16:25

National tyre specialist ATS Euromaster has released dramatic video footage showing the catastrophic effects of inflating a truck tyre which has previously suffered run-flat damage.

The recording – which can be viewed online here – forms part of a comprehensive training DVD produced in-house and being shown to ATS Euromaster’s 2,300-strong operations team.  It forms part of the company’s new ‘Safe by Choice’ initiative and reinforces the safe methods of operation which must be followed with all truck, earthmover and agricultural tyres.  The footage also serves as a timely reminder of why tyres should always be serviced by professional tyre technicians.

Richard Byrne, Group Head of Health, Safety & Technical Services at ATS Euromaster, says: “If a tyre contains insufficient air to carry its load, run-flat damage can be caused to its internal structure, rendering the tyre no longer serviceable.  It must never be repaired or inflated, as the structure could fail and cause an explosion.

“When this happens the compressed air – as much as 130psi in a standard 295/80 R 22.5 – surges into the surrounding area at violent speed and with a force equivalent to 12 tonnes.  If you are standing in the way it’s like being hit by a truck.”

The complete training DVD teaches technicians how to recognise the four basic stages of run-flat damage – crucial to anyone who may inflate a heavy tyre – and is designed to ensure a tyre which has suffered run-flat damage is never re-inflated and put back into service.  It also outlines the permissible inflation methods which ATS Euromaster technicians follow when inflating heavy tyres, including standing at least 3m away from the tyre in line with the tread.

Byrne adds: “It is crucial that technicians do not stand immediately in front of the tyre’s sidewalls during inflation – or let anyone enter this area.  It can literally make the difference between life and death.”

Chris Hufflett, Group Operations Director, explains: “We recognise the importance of fleets choosing service providers with whom they have complete confidence.  It’s why we pride ourselves on being experts in all aspects of what we do – including safe working.  These days it’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about doing so with an absolute commitment to safety at every step.

“As a company we are gearing up to take safety to the next level, and our new Safe by Choice programme will be fundamental to achieving this,” he adds.

The footage was recorded in a controlled and predictable environment to ensure the complete safety of all those taking part.

ATS Euromaster prides itself on being a health and safety leader.  It places intense focus on safe working, well aware that it impacts not only on the lives of its employees and their families, but also on customers and suppliers.

Testament to ATS Euromaster’s safety performance is the company’s lost time accident rate which has reduced to an all-time low, with just 7.8 lost time accidents per million hours worked – a 23.5% reduction in two years.  This figure is particularly impressive, given that ATS Euromaster has the largest mobile tyre fitting force in the UK, meaning many technicians operate away from the confines of a service centre.  They routinely work on motorway hard-shoulders, construction sites, farms, as well as in hauliers’ yards, at airports and in busy car parks.

2011 has seen ATS Euromaster re-accredited by both SAFEcontractor and the Contractors Health and Safety Scheme (CHAS); just a year after becoming the first national tyre service provider to be recognised for safe-working by both organisations

The company has also been presented with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Silver Award for Occupational Health and Safety, 12 months after receiving the Bronze Award.  This recognises its success in achieving a high level of health and safety performance underpinned by good management systems.

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