Safety is a top concern on the shop floor. Even something as routine and repeated as the demounting, mounting and inflation of tires can shift unexpectedly into a dangerous situation.
Here is advice to protect employees from harm.
First, tire-changing safety starts with common sense. Stay aware each moment. Wear safety glasses. Be a professional, taking all steps necessary to protect yourself and those around you at all times.
Among the most avoidable danger situations is having a tire blow during the mounting and inflation process. This can be avoided by taking the steps to match the tire size carefully with the rim size.
Double check the tire size on the sidewall. It must fit exactly as mounting and inflating the wrong size tire can cause technician injury. If a technician were to mount a smaller tire on a larger rim (like mounting an 18-inch tire on an 18.5-inch rim), the overinflation of a mismatched tire and rim can cause an explosion.
Inspecting the rim prior to mounting the tire is important. Any rough spots, rust, cracks, damage or corrosion can prevent the tire from seating correctly. Take the steps to address rim condition and corrosion before moving forward with mounting and inflation.
Less experienced technicians should consult with the shop foreman or manager and have them see the rim condition for themselves before moving forward with mounting.
Once the technician has confirmed that the rim condition is good and the tire size is a match, the tire can be mounted. But be aware. Don’t have any part of your body over the tire when you’re inflating it.
If the tire explodes, it will go straight up, so any body part over the tire when that happens is at risk. Never inflate a tire beyond 40 psi to seat the bead. If it hasn’t seated at that point, deflate it, unmount it, check the rim and start over.
And do not seat the bead with flames or fire from lighter fluid. Use equipment on the shop floor properly and stay safe.