"Today’s standards don’t match all the risks that protective glazing can be exposed to –that’s why we’re setting higher standards for our products"
Malin Påhlsson is a designer and regulations manager at Hammerglass, and she was on site in Vånga early on to see for herself how the RABS frame looked after the accident.
– This was about extreme forces in a risky working environment, she notes.
The Swedish Work Environment Administration requires operators of vehicles in quarry environments to be protected against falling rock. It’s up to the employer to carry out a broad risk analysis which takes into account the environment in which the machine is working and the type of work being carried out. The lowest possible accident scenario represents a potential hazard for the machine operator and should influence the choice of safety solution. The Work Environment Administration also refers to the fact that a protective roof for a cab should be able to withstand a weight of 227 kg being dropped onto the roof from a height of 5 metres. The Hammerglass RABS frame is tested in the same way as a canopy, even though in the equivalent standard for a front guard only half that force is actually required.
– The reason why Hammerglass is demanding more from the product than necessary is because we believe that the standards today do not correspond to the real risks to which the protection can be exposed. A landslide could just as easily fall on the front of the machine as on top of it, and the RABS frame should also protect the operator against rock fall from an exploding drill hole,’ she says.
– We can also conclude from the accident that the frame was most likely subjected to a force far in excess of what the Swedish Work Environment Administration refers to and that the design in this case exceeded expectations. It is also an acknowledgement to Scandinavian Stone that they have thought correctly in their risk assessment and have taken care to choose the best possible protection for the situation. It may well have been the deciding factor in the driver’s ability to get out of the cab unharmed in this accident.
The company is a merger of Svimpex Granit and Emmaboda Granit and has been quarrying various types of natural stone since 1933. Scandinavian Stone is part of the Naturstenskompaniet International group, which operates 15 quarries in Sweden and Norway. The quarry in Vånga, where Jörgen Stjernkvist works, consists of a rich granite deposit.