Tyres and Rims Management /

Tyre and Rim incidents involve stored energy release or crush scenarios and include the catastrophic disassembly of wheel assemblies, tyre explosions from pyrolysis and crush injuries when moving tyres and wheels or working with mobile equipment.

The EMESRT Design Philosophy 2 (DP-2) – Tyres and Rims was published in 2007 and provides visual operational scenario information for the designers of wheel assembly components and mining operators. It has this objective: to prevent harm related to tyre and rim events to as low as reasonably practical, including consideration in design for foreseeable human error.

In 2018, EMESRT Advisory Group (EAG) members initiated an industry project to improve Tyre and Rim management. This decision was based on these drivers:

  • Significant fatality exposures for tyre maintenance technicians, mobile equipment operators, mobile equipment maintainers and emergency responders 
  • Inadequate maintenance and operational practices causing early service failures incur considerable costs e.g., repair or replacement of damaged tyres, unavailability of equipment etc.
  • There are increasing expectations that mine operators can improve performance 

In 2019, this EMESRT Project was scoped and developed at two industry workshops, using the EMESRT Control Framework (CFw) approach. 

Twenty-three experienced and well qualified participants, representing 14 organisations (both member and non-member), including a regulator representative confirmed five aspirational Required Operating States (ROS) as the minimum set necessary for consistently safe and productive mining operations working with rubber tyre mobile equipment: 

  • ROS-TR-01: Tyre maintenance practices for load shifting, component storage and mobile equipment interactions are effectively managed
  • ROS-TR-02: Wheel assemblies remain intact, and equipment performs to expectations during tyre changes and all other tyre and rim maintenance activities
  • ROS-TR-03: Safe and productive operational use of earth moving equipment with inflated rubber tyres
  • ROS-TR-04: Tyre recycling and disposal practices for load shifting, storage, mobile equipment interactions and interaction with plant are effectively managed
  • ROS-TR-05: Tyre maintenance, repair, reconditioning, recycling and disposal practices do not compromise the health of the people undertaking the work

Based on actual incidents, participants considered adequacy of the specific business inputs intended to prevent or mitigate compromise to relevant Required Operating States. Workshop participants also noted:

  • While tyre fitters (maintenance technicians) are the highest fatality occupational group in mining, not all tyre related fatal injuries involve specialists
  • Tyre and rim event fatality causes, and their prevention and mitigation controls, are well understood 
  • Most tyre and rim events occur through the inconsistent application of known business inputs, e.g., through a lack of knowledge or inadequate monitoring

This work identified these industry level opportunities:

  • Developing industry validated content for operational site reviews of the business inputs that prevent or mitigate significant tyre and rim events including maintenance and operational practices, maintenance equipment and work environment design
  • Providing comprehensive and well-structured information that can be applied by industry to review and update training resources and competency requirements for both tyre and rim maintainers and supervisors
  • Preparing problem statements for OEM and third-party designers, supported by detailed operational scenarios, to improve the design of wheel assembly maintenance equipment, e.g., for tyre handling equipment, robot removal of wheel assembly attachments, etc
  • Preparing problem statements for OEM and third-party designers to that confirm opportunities for step-change innovations in wheel assembly design

Project progress

In 2020, EMESRT coordinated a working group to develop and deliver a work plan to realise these industry level opportunities. The Tyres and Rims working group, made up of 39 experienced individuals representing 19 organisations, meet monthly to review work plan progress.  

The CFw was based on industry information, guidance, operation experience and know-how and included review of:

  • EMESRT Design Philosophy 2 – Tyres and Rims
  • Regulator information from multiple jurisdictions incident reports, bulletins, publication analysis, position papers, etc
  • Operating site, company and industry documents
  • Research and technical information, e.g., incident taxonomies
  • Relevant Standards and Guidelines

Project outs include a Tyre and Rim Management Control Framework (CFw), draft self-review tool and a beta version Knowledge Hub. 

This EMESRT work led to two research projects:

  • Equipment design ACARP project Tyre Handling Equipment and System Design (Project C33005) 
  • Work environment monitoring ACARP project Real-time Safety Monitor and Alert System for Tyre and Rim Handling Maintenance EYECUETM (Project C33007) 

In 2021, the EMESRT Tyre and Rim Management Knowledge Hub will be launched and will contain curated collection of tools, case studies, reference information, links to relevant websites and other informative resources.