Jörgen Stjernkvist often clears dynamite chutes and has a good overview of the situation. But everyone can be unlucky–and on one ordinary Monday at work, he was. A large block of granite unexpectedly came loose from the mountain and fell to the ground in different pieces. His cabin was rammed by a 10-tonne rock.
– I didn’t have time to think until it was over, the only thing in my head afterwards was joy that I had made it,’ he said.
Jörgen has been a machine operator since 1978, a young boy following in his father’s footsteps. He’s never regretted his choice of profession – it’s been an exciting industry to work in and he’s driven a variety of machines over the years. Safety has, of course, evolved a lot along the way and at Scandinavian Stone they are extra safety conscious. Everyone knows what can happen if an accident occurs, and that the difference between life and death can depend on the preventive measures taken.
– I’ve worked hard all my life and have been spared accidents. Sure, I’ve been hit by rocks and broken glass, but nothing serious has happened. Now I only have a year and a half to go before I retire. I’m looking forward to it, I’ll be doing the house and garden, doing the things I enjoy. After what’s happened, I’m even more grateful for the little things in life. The situation could have been very different, I realise that when I see the picture with the stone block and the machine. I was actually sitting in it, with just a front screen in between.
– I was cleaning out the dynamite chutes – not an unusual task for me – but this particular boulder had a long crack in it that shot inwards and upwards and couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. While I was working, the block came loose incredibly fast. One second the boulder was attached to the rock wall, the next, it smashed into my front window. I didn’t even have time to understand what was going on.
You’ve got Class 3 protection, which includes Hammerglass RABS solution with full cab protection. What are your feelings about that now?
– The stone had a pointed front, making it even more dangerous. The point itself had pushed into the front screen a little bit, but then stopped. Without Hammerglass RABS, I think the point would have got through to me.
What did your family say when you got home that day?
– I downplayed the incident, I didn’t want them to be scared unnecessarily. All’s well that ends well, after all, and the way I see it, I made it because Scandinavian Stone doesn’t rely on luck. The company is investing in the right kind of safety.