ERJ staff report (BC)
London – A novice fitter died in 2006 when a tire exploded in his face just weeks after he complained about faulty equipment and a lack of training, an inquest reported by Emily Davies of Mail Online heard.
Matthew Hoare, 21, was repairing a puncture on a 1.5m tire of a loader vehicle by inflating it directly from a compressor instead of using a safer inflating line.
The compressor made the tire rupture and Hoare was killed instantly as he was blown 4.6m across the workshop at Watling Tyres in Canterbury, Kent.
His mother Carolyn Hoare told a coroner that her son had complained to her about the safety procedures at his work.
And she said that when he asked for further training his manager told him there was none.
The UK Crown Prosecution Service, Kent police and a judicial review concluded there was no criminal case for Watling Tires to answer.
The inquest was further delayed by an ongoing investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.
Health and Safety Executive Inspector Mike Walters is reported as saying of the van carrying the equipment: “It was mess inside - not very well-organised.
“There were booklets with tire pressure charts for vehicles but nothing relating to a digger-type vehicle.
“The compressor had only half a gauge - the glass was broken and the needle missing.
“There was no other gauge outside the vehicle, meaning Matthew would have had no way of knowing what air pressure was going into the tire.
“There were health and safety regulations on display, booklets about health and safety and blank personal training record forms, but I could find nothing to indicate Matthew had received any training.
“It's fair to say I was not happy with the training regime within the company and issued an improvement notice to ensure all current staff and new people were competent to do what was asked of them.
“In general terms, they needed to sort out the shortcomings in their training system.”
A Watling Tyres director and the company's regional branch manager refused to answer crucial questions at the inquest on the advice of their barrister.
The inquest continues.
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