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Worker’s fingers crushed by hydraulic bead breaker

A tyre fitter’s fingers have been partially amputated while operating a hydraulic bead breaker.

According to an incident report by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, the worker was positioning the hydraulic bead breaker in preparation for breaking an inner tyre bead on a water cart.

The worker was holding the bead beaker in his right hand and the remote control pendant for the hydraulic power pack in his left hand.

“He attempted to gain extra length in the pendant control cable by flicking it over the power pack. This action activated the hydraulic power pack, by either knocking the pump toggle switch to the ‘on’ position or depressing the pump ‘on’ button of the pendant,” the report said of the April incident.

“The sliding section of the bead breaker was set in motion and crushed three fingers on his right hand, resulting in partial amputations.”

The hydraulic power pack was energised with the control valve lever in the ‘advance’ position while the equipment was being positioned for operation. The DMP recommended that workers should ensure hydraulic equipment is not energised while being positioned for the task.

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