Wayne MacDonald was a 53 year old, experienced, truck driver. During his work one of the tyres on a trailer failed and was required to be changed. Accordingly he drove his truck to the appropriate facility at the mine site to change the failed tyre. He had provided to him by a work colleague what was thought to be a suitable replacement tyre from those tyres made available. The tyre that was chosen was marked in chalk with the notation “SLOW LEAK/OK”. The truck tyre was then inflated to what was considered to be the operational1 tyre pressure. As the replacement tyre came into contact with the ground it catastrophically failed, suffering what was later described as a ‘zipper failure’. Mr MacDonald, who was then positioned, lying on the ground, between the trailer’s tyres, was hit by a percussive shockwave of air causing him fatal injuries. He died at the scene.
This incident does provide the opportunity to recommend important improvements aimed at reducing the risk to workers in similar operations.
It was recommended that management of mine sites, and their engaged contractors, review all tyre management practices to ensure that tyres on their mine sites are being operated within their specific design parameters applicable for their use. This review needs to occur within three months, and then annually the mine site needs to ensure that compliance is being maintained.
That the industry investigate, and implement within two years, remote, or wireless, tyre pressure sensing equipment to allow operators to monitor tyre pressure from within the cabin of the truck.
A full list of recommendations can be found in the paper under “coroners comments/recommendations”