Tyre worker 46, killed in horror tyre blast

A tyre firm worker has been killed after a tyre he was repairing exploded.

The man, dad-of-one Gary Jackson, 46, from Preston, was working alone at Red Scar Tyres, when a tipper wagon belonging to one of the firm’s contractors was brought in for a tyre repair.

The driver said one of the tyres was damaged and needed changing, and Mr Jackson started working on it in one of the company’s buildings.

He repaired what he believed was the damage, before the tyre was lifted to test the repair.

But the tyre then exploded, causing a large tear in it, and the air hit Mr Jackson and blew him across the building.

The wagon driver, who was stood nearby, tried to help him and paramedics were called.

But despite attempts to resuscitate him, Mr Jackson was pronounced dead at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Police, council representatives and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were all at the firm’s base, on the Red Scar Industrial Estate, Longridge Road, Ribbleton, in the aftermnath of the accident.

Det Sgt John Crichton, of Preston CID, said: “All we will be doing is reporting the death to the coroner. We are satisfied there is no criminal element.”

Det Insp Dave McKenna, also from Preston CID, said police would continue to work with the Health and Safety Executive.

The HSE returned to the site the next day when experts were expected to examine the tyre.

An HSE worker at the site confirmed they are fully investigating the incident.

Red Scar Tyres employs around six people, but all except Mr Jackson were believed to be off the premises when the accident happened.

Plus Safety Comment: Sometimes accidents just do happen! I was a firm believer that all accidents could be avoided but this one has challenged that belief.

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Prosecution after death caused by unsafe work at height

Millennium Rubber International Ltd and United Crane Services Ltd were both prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and fined a total of £100,000 following the death of a maintenance worker who fell from the forks of a forklift truck at a Macclesfield factory.
Martin Denton, 60, was being lifted in a metal container, known as a stillage, on 10 June 2006 when it slipped off and he fell approximately four metres to the concrete floor below. The father-of-three from Rotherham died in hospital later that day from head injuries.
Chester Crown Court was told United Crane Services had been hired to repair an overhead crane at the factory but had allowed Mr Denton to be lifted in a container designed for materials rather than people.
The HSE investigation found that it had been standard practice for Millennium Rubber to use containers and pallets on forklift trucks to lift workers, despite neither being designed, nor safe, for that purpose.
Millennium Rubber, which produces rubber surfaces for running tracks and children’s playgrounds, admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting workers’ safety at risk. It was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £21,411 in prosecution costs in a sentencing hearing a Warrington Crown Court on 9 December 2011.
United Crane Services, of Claywheels Lane in Sheffield, also pleaded guilty to one breach of the same act for failing to ensure the safety of its employee, Mr Denton. It was fined £10,000 with costs of £5,000.
HSE Principal Inspector Tanya Stewart added:
“Mr Denton died because neither company followed basic health and safety procedures for working at height. He should never have been expected to stand in a metal stillage, balanced dangerously on the forks of a forklift truck.
The companies simply did not consider the risks Mr Denton might face if he carried out the repair work to the overhead crane in this way. They should have made sure a safe system for the work was in place before allowing him to start.
It’s disgraceful that the practice of lifting workers on forklift trucks had taken place on many other occasions. Sadly, it was therefore almost inevitable that someone would be seriously injured or killed.”