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10 Tips for Using Tire Inflation Safety Cages

Grainger Editorial Staff

Changing commercial tires can be a dangerous occupation. Because of the high risk of a dangerous explosion, OSHA has implemented a rigorous set of standards requiring the use of inflation safety cages for single and multi-piece rims. Here are a few tips on how to keep your tire-inflation operation safe and efficient.


OSHA requires the use of a restraining device for inflating tires on multi-piece rims. Safety cages provide the kind of restraint needed to safely contain possible explosions and the dangerous aftereffects from it. Per hazard guidelines, each restraining device or barrier must have the capacity to withstand the maximum force of 150 percent of the maximum tire specification pressure. We offer high-quality cages in a variety of specs to meet your pressure needs.

OSHA also requires employers to furnish an air-line assembly for tire inflation consisting of a clip-on chuck, an in-line valve with a pressure gauge or a presettable regulator, and a sufficient length of hose. Remember, when inflating tires, the employee is required to stand outside the trajectory, and at least ten feet away. These items make it possible to follow these regulations safely and easily.


  1. Do not alter your tire inflation cage in any way.
  2. Cages must be freestanding and at least three feet from other objects; permanently mounting an inflation cage to the floor or near a wall prohibits deformation of the bottom plate and prevents equal dissipation of energy released in the event of a tire explosion.
  3. Actual tire inflation must be controlled from a distance of 10 feet away using an extension hose and a clip-on chuck.


Purchasing high-quality equipment is your first step in operating a safe workplace. But no amount of goods or products can stand in the place of proper training and procedures in the inflation of tires.

For the use of inflation cages, it is important to make sure that people and objects remain clear of the area while an item is in the cage. All equipment should be inspected daily to ensure it is in its best operating condition. After inflation, all tire and wheel components must be inspected to make sure they are properly sealed and locked before removing from the cage.


  1. Never rest or lean on the restraining device.
  2. Never allow any part of your body inside an inflation cage during the inflation procedure.
  3. If adjustments are required, the tire must be completely deflated by removing its valve core while the tire is still in the inflation cage.
  4. Do not attempt to correct the seating of side flanges or lock rings by hammering or forcing the components when the tire is inflated.
  5. Operators should always wear safety goggles and be certain that they and anyone in the area is not in the trajectory path.


Employers are responsible for making sure that all employees are properly trained in safe tire-inflation procedures. This includes making sure both workers and equipment maintain a reliable adherence to safety standards over time. All employees should complete a rigorous inflation training before being loosed onto the maintenance floor, and should be periodically refreshed to ensure all required bullet points are being performed. Take advantage of charts and manuals by making them easily accessible.


  1. Review safety procedures regularly.
  2. Keep current charts or rim manuals available in the service area.

Safety Equipment for Your Needs

Safely inflating commercial tires requires both attention and specialized equipment. You need to have the right restraining device for the right size and pressure tire. You need to have the right hose, the right gauges, and the right training on how to use them. See how Grainger’s tire inflation inventory can fulfill your all of your business’ needs.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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