"It is regrettable that there are no clear guidelines regarding machine windows”

Published 2024-03-11

We have had a visit by BEF's well-known face - Jan Johansson - and it was an interesting conversation about the risks in the industry and the safety of machine operators.

Jan Johansson is CEO of BEF, the Bergsprännings Entreprenörers Förening (Swedish Rockblaster Contractors Association), and he has 40 years of experience in blasting, including from running his own blasting company. His unique knowledge will be of great use in the dialogue with the members.

– BEF's task is to help companies with their daily work and that includes responsibility for personal safety. I get a huge number of questions about how to protect yourself in the event of accidents and it is unfortunate that there are no clear guidelines or a standard to follow when it comes to safety windows. I want to be able to answer the members exactly what they need to stay safe, in the event of an explosion. It's not just the pressure wave that stress the windows, it can propell a lot of stones in the air too.


Jan Johansson, CEO of BEF, in conversation with our Senior Design & Compliance Engineer, about which tests must be carried out on a machine window in order for it to be called "explosion-proof".

On request, Jan holds special courses, where he addresses, among other things, which work steps involve a risk around undetonated explosives, how to reduce the number of detonations, what preventive protections are available and what the law says. He refers to several serious accidents where machine operators have been hurt at their workplaces and where in some cases he has been involved in the complicated aftermath. In addition to shock and sadness for all involved, questions about responsibility and the work environment are raised.


– There should be no room for choosing the wrong protection for a machine, it is tragic. Since 2006, we have had two fatal accidents in Sweden, one accident with a disability and one seriously injured as a result, as well as several more or less serious personal accidents and other detonations with sometimes material damage.


– The work that Hammerglass does in the form of tests and various standards is extremely important, but it is equally important to simplify the information about this so that whoever is going to equip a machine that is going to work with blasted rock can easily see what protection is required. If we can help each other with this, we can reduce the risks together. That is my main driving force, no one should have to risk their lives because there are too weak windows in the machine.

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