As a member of the Sumitomo Rubber Industries Limited group, we strive to develop products with an emphasis on customer safety and comfort while pursuing high levels of product quality and economy, as well as enhancing the soundness and transparency of our management so that we may maintain our integrity and continue to be a reliable corporate for all our stakeholders.

The topic of safety never loses its relevance, especially tyre and manufacturing safety. The two topics look seemingly different but link directly to one another. The only way you can ensure that you produce a safe tyre is by making sure that your manufacturing processes are safe and of global standards.


TYRE MANUFACTURING SAFETY

Safety in the workplace is essential in any industry, but it’s especially important in manufacturing. As a manufacturer, you must take many factors into account starting from the time the raw materials are sourced to the production process and the final distribution of the product. Precautions must be built into your processes to avoid accidents.


At the core of our business strategy we drive safety
under these pillars:


  1. Safety of all members of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd family
  2. Preserving the environment for future generation during production of tyres and post usage
  3. Consumer safety


Safety of all members of the Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd family is about getting home in “onepiece”. While sounding like a relatively easy concept working in a high risk tyre industry does not always make it easy. Some of the main causes of accidents in this industry can be avoided. We therefore drive a culture of safety and awareness through several programmes. The message supporting this is simple- safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Our Dunlop Container programme was developed to formalize the informal township tyre trade business, thus creating employment opportunities and driving entrepreneurship in a sector previously unavailable to these business owners. At the core of our programme is the importance of safety. Township and rural areas tyre trading and fitment have in many cases been riddled by second-hand tyres and re-grooved tyres which result in road fatalities.

The programme is centred around township containers being transformed into Dunlop branded tyre fitment centres. It provides opportunities for unemployed youth and women to be trained and mentored in tyre sales and repair.

A good safety culture is in our company’s DNA and resides in all our processes. At the core of our business we understand that daily commuters trust our business with their lives, families trust us with their loved ones and future generations depend on us for a sustainable environment. Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd is truly #SaferthanSafe



TYRE SAFETY

To date tyre safety remains a topical and relevant subject in South Africa. According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), mechanical failures, which include tyre failures, account for 14.1% of road crashes in South Africa. Of these, burst tyres account for 60.6% and smooth tyres for 5.5% - together accounting for over 66% of accidents caused by mechanical failure.

“Tyre maintenance is a vital part of keeping a vehicle roadworthy,” says CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, Riaz Haffejee. “It is our mission to help road users identify safe tyres on their personal vehicle – or on a public transport vehicle that they are about to climb into. Unsafe second-hand tyres are also a major threat to road safety and consumers need to be aware of the risks.”


As a board member of the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), Haffejee has the following ‘Top Three Tyre Safety’ tips to share for staying safe on the road:


  • Maintain pressure – check your tyre pressure every time you fill your fuel tank. Follow the owner’s manual or check inside the fuel cap lid for the correct pressure. This will reduce your fuel consumption, ensure even tyre wear and increase the lifespan of your tyres. Perfect tyre pressure = best value for money.
  • Rotate your tyres – check-in at a reputable tyre dealer to have your tyres rotated at least once per year or every 10,000km. This will keep them wearing evenly, make them last longer and give you the best use and value out of your tyres.
  • Check your tread – park your vehicle and turn your steering to the far right so that you get a full view of your tread. The treadwear indicator (the little square in the groove of your tyre tread) is set at 1.6mm. Tread worn to below 3mm will increase the distance you need to stop safely, increasing your risk of accidents. Tread below the 1.6mm means that the tyre is illegal and it is time to change it. A tyre that is badly worn, has damaged rubber coverings, exposed fabric or cords, cuts, lumps or bulges is considered a second-hand waste tyre and therefore also illegal. Check this once a month to be sure that you are safe on the roads and within the legal limits.

Doing these three simple checks, will give longevity to your tyre, reduce the likelihood of failures due to damage and will ensure your vehicle performs as it should on the road.

Your first choice should always be to replace a worn or damaged tyre with a new tyre. While second hand tyres may seem like a cost-effective solution to brand new tyres, there is a reason those tyres were removed from the previous vehicle they were on. Surveys show that over 61% of second-hand tyres are not safe for use on the roads.²

References:

¹http://www.rtmc.co.za/images/rtmc/docs/nrss/National%20Road%20Safety%20Strategy1.pdf

²Sumitomo Rubber South Africa Annual 2nd hand tyre survey 2019