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Bungee jumping ‘killed off’ by new safety rules

Strict new safety rules could spell the end of bungee jumping in Sweden, companies who organize the activity have warned.

Bungee jumping 'killed off' by new safety rules

“It’s a shame. This will kill an entire sector,” said Ulf Kempe, an outdoor activity organizer in Jönköping told the Jönköpings-Posten newspaper.

Almost all bungee jumps in Sweden are taken from mobile cranes, which are usually rented. All equipment, including platforms and safety harnesses, are provided by organizers and are inspected regularly according to a set of criteria.

But now the industry is under threat after the Swedish National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) has issued a stricter interpretation of the rules, making it harder for companies to pass inspections.

“We are being reclassified as fairground operators, which has led the police to demand that we inspect our equipment in a new way in order to get permission to arrange bungee jumps,” Kempe said.

Under current rules, all new fairground equipment must be inspected carefully when it enters Sweden to ensure it meets Swedish safety standards. The strict application of the rules means that jump organizers must have their equipment inspected every time they arrange a jump.

“The crane now has to be inspected together with our platform. Even if the equipment and the crane are approved individually, they cannot be used together,” Kempe said.

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ENJOYING STOCKHOLM

Sweden: A land of hairdressers and writers

Sweden's capital Stockholm is full of hairdressers and writers, and sometimes even writers in hairdressers. And it can be a disturbing city when you're a bald Frenchman who happens to be a writer, observes Luis de Miranda.

Sweden: A land of hairdressers and writers

As a bald French writer exiled in Stockholm since last year, I have rapidly noticed that 50 percent of the Swedish population is either a hairdresser or a writer – or both.

In Stockholm, there is a frisör every fifty metres, where you usually find a lonely person getting a blond hair colour or a new cut, while reading the newspaper.

In the newspaper you will find many articles about people who engage in many different activities but who are also often designated as författare (writer): Sven Svensson, actor and författare; Camilla Johansson, yoga instructor and författare; Fredrik Reinfeldt, prime minister and författare.

It seems that any kind of printed material entitles you to be a författare, and some daily newspapers need to display book reviews in every edition in order to keep the pace and make all the författare happy.

Let’s be honest: I can understand that everybody agrees to call everybody else

a writer – that is an interesting form of collective vanity – but why so many

hairdressers? Some say it’s about money laundering. Or is it also about vanity?

People want to have nice blond hair and it is understandable. But as a bald French writer, I simply don’t exist here in Sweden: having little hair makes me invisible and

being a writer makes me very common.

I am considering wearing a wig and stopping my Swedish classes in order to remain relatively illiterate in the language of Swedenborg (no, this is not the name of my hairdresser). I shall refrain from writing even the slightest memoir on beard shaving.

But please don’t misunderstand me. I love Sweden and the Swedes. I respect any författare, any frisör, and I like fika, folkhem, filmjölk and feminism…

Sweden is just…fantastic.

Luis de Miranda is a French novelist, philosopher, editor and film director who has been in Stockholm for a year. He is also bald.

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