009 - Look Out Below: What Are Safety Pros Doing to Prevent Dropped Objects?


Cameron (00:00):
I used to always tell 'em, Hey look, first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna focus on safety. We're gonna focus on quality. You do those two enough efficiency and productivity. The third piece, that's just naturally gonna fall into place.

Al (00:17):
Welcome everybody to Radio Free Tenacity, the voice of worker safety and on today's program, we welcome Cameron Swanson, VP of EHS and Compliance at Enertech. Enertech is a leader in engineering, technology, deployment and construction services for the wireless industry. And Cameron was gracious enough to sit down with our own safety worksite specialist, Allie Thunstrom, and as hard as it may be to believe this is a conversation on worker safety that you might actually find enjoyable. Cam is extremely relatable, driven by common sense and anchored in reality with a great sense of humor to boot. So if you're a safety leader, I think you'll find it well worth your time to listen in as they riff on topics ranging from the dangers of complacency and worksite safety to reframing safety as a key component to productivity and efficiency. They also chat a bit about the evolution of tool tethering in the tower industry, including Cameron's thoughts on where he'd like the future of tool tethering to go. So now that the table is set, let us feast.

Allie (01:36):
Alright, welcome everybody back to Radio Free Tenacity. Today, we have Cameron Swanson who is the VP of EHS and Compliance for Enertech. And for those of you who are not familiar, Entertech is a leader in engineering, technology, deployment, and construction services for the wireless industry. So welcome Cameron. Can you introduce yourself to the people? Tell us a bit about your current role and experience in workplace safety.

Cameron (02:00):
Yeah, no good morning. Thanks for having me. As you, you said my name's Cameron Swanson, I'm part of the Enertech family. I got started in the industry, it was late 2003 came in as a green hand kind of worked my way through the ranks. You know, how did I get started in workplace safety? I mean really as corny as it sounds, I like to think, and I like to tell people that I got started in safety, like the first day I stepped on site on the job site, right. It's no secret that what we do is, is dangerous. And especially being a green hand, going through the training and then first day out on the field or out in the field, you know, hands on everything kind of gets real. You know, you, you, you quickly realize that, Hey, I gotta, I gotta do this stuff.

Cameron (02:46):
Right. You know, if, if I don't, I may not get a second chance. So I like to tell people, you know, regardless of your position or, or whatever role in which you serve within the industry, that everybody really kind of has a responsibility of safety. So that's kind of how I got into it. Initially, so in, in whenever I joined the family of Enertech it was in, it was in 2015 and I had recently came from owning my own company. Whenever I joined the Enertech team and when you're own your own company, you kind of had that responsibility anyways. Right. You kind of had that duty to make sure that you create a safe work environment. So even though I was wearing multiple hats as a business owner safety was still a priority and it was still a core value, something that we had to, we had to make sure that we got right.

Cameron (03:38):
So currently once again, I like to, to joke around so much about safety and what we do is serious. So any opportunity I had to kind of make light of a situation, I, I, I definitely try to capitalize on it. So introducing myself to people, I always say, yeah, I'm the VP of janitorial services, you know, like I get in there and like, I'm the guy that has to, to make stuff right. And clean stuff up, and go in there and, and do what I gotta do, you know? But the truth in the matter is, is yes. Currently I'm the VP of EHS and Compliance. I work closely with all of our customers and operations and the employees to make sure that they get the experience in which, in which they deserve.

Allie (04:16):
Yeah. That's really awesome. I think a couple key things I kind of wanna touch on and I, I like the janitorial services cuz you kind of have to do the dirty work and, and like you said, at the base of it, safety is everyone's problem. But we also know, you know, I was a, a previous worker before and any day it was like, Hey, we have to do OSHA training or we have to do this or we have to talk about new hard hats or it's not your favorite conversation. Anything that has to do with safety training is not anybody's favorite, very necessary, but not a favorite. So I like the, the janitorial services thing, but the other thing I wanted to touch on real quick and for anybody that may not be familiar with the wireless industry and what it entails, you mentioned that it's a very dangerous job and it absolutely is. And you have to have the stomach for it. Can you just give the listeners kind of an idea of what makes it so dangerous in case they don't know?

Cameron (05:10):
So I, you know, I'm gonna take a minute and kind of talk outta both sides of my mouth, you know yes. What we do inherently working at height is dangerous but if we do everything that we're supposed to do, it's really not, you know, we wear our harnesses, we abide by our training. We do the things that we're supposed to do. We hold up our end of the, of the, of the deal. It's really, it's really not so dangerous. I mean, how many times do you, and it happens from time to time, but how many times do you hear of a tower spontaneously falling when there's no work on it?

Allie (05:45):
Very rarely.

Cameron (05:46):
You know, but oftentimes you hear of tower collapses, tower failures fatalities in the industry and that bit and more times than not it's because something wasn't done correctly and you know, no matter what we do in, in training, we do the best we can to train against all of that and to prevent that type of stuff from happen. But there, there is still a certain human element involved in things. So that's where you really kind of get down into the weeds and, and make sure that I'm sure we'll get into it later on in the podcast, but it's about training people. The why's and not the because right. How many times have you heard somebody say, Hey, do this. Well, why? Just because.

Allie (06:29):
Because I said, so.

Cameron (06:30):
No, that's not the right way. You know, it's like do this because this, this and this, and if you don't do this, this could be what happens, right. So, you know, if you do what you're trained to do and you understand why it is that you're doing what you're doing, our industry really is safe. And there's a lot of work that gets done every single year, you know, thousands upon thousands of man hours work. And you know, those man hours are worked safely and those individuals go home to their families. And, and that's, that's the goal.

Allie (06:59):
Absolutely. I think, you know, one of the things that really sticks out immediately with Enertech in general, and of course your background is how central safety is just to the identity of the company. I mean, you say safety is your core value. So in terms of, you know, tangible terms and what that looks like from, you know, the business priorities and the day to day activities of the workforce, I know you touched on it a little bit, but do you wanna maybe expand on what that means to your company's identity and what you do on the ground level to ensure everybody buys into it?

Cameron (07:32):
Yeah. Now that, it's a great question and I'm glad you asked and really, I mean, for, for you guys and everybody else that's listening, it's like, oh, great. Another company with safety as their core value, how convenient. You know.

Allie (07:44):
Yeah, exactly.

Cameron (07:45):
But, but it really is, you know, if something is truly a core value, it has to be the center of everything you do, right? Like if you look at the way we approach jobs, we cant, can't just approach jobs, always from a financial perspective. Granted we're not a, not for profit business. We have to make money at the end of the day. But if you can't go out and make money safely, is it really worth doing? I mean, you know, so that kind of comes back to, to the values and one of the first things that I think of is values versus priorities. This industry is a fast paced industry. And it's funny because like, you'll be busy one second and then the next second, you're not right. So like with COVID, everybody's kind of, you know, taking a little bit of a dip.

Cameron (08:34):
Some people are staying busier than others, whatever, but inevitably we know what's coming like that same amount of work is there. It's just compounding. And eventually the floodgates are gonna open and then the customers are gonna say, get it done, get it done, get it done. It's gotta be done now. Right. So a priority may be kind of influenced by customer demands, right? Financial burdens. Those are, those are all prime examples of burdens. But when you have something as a core value, that's not something that changes with the weather. That's something that's embedded into you. And you have to, in order to have that embedded into you. And to back that up, metaphorically speaking, you gotta put your money where your mouth is. You gotta, you gotta invest the money. And the time into training, you gotta, you know, the continuing education is a huge piece of it.

Cameron (09:22):
The industry's ever evolving. Yes. It's still at the end of the day, nuts and bolts, it's ins and outs. It's radios and antennas, but it's continually evolving and we have to stay on top of that. We have to make sure that every opportunity we have to, to talk safety, talk safety. Talk to me is a two way conversation not preaching, right? We're not, we don't want to have the, the idea or the philosophy of getting up and preaching at our employees. We want to talk with them. We wanna hear back and forth. What's going on, what's working. What's not, you can't just lead from an ivory tower. You have to be able to, you know, buckle down, put on your boots and tighten up your straps and, and go out there and see what's going on. Give your guys a voice, allow them to talk and then not just allow them to talk, but listen to 'em and understand the trials and tribulations that they're going through. And then once again, come up with, come up with solutions that can allow them to be productive out in the field efficient and most of all safe.

Allie (10:24):
Okay. So yeah, Cameron, I mean, you mentioned like the buy-in of the employees and just constantly going through and you know, it's a constant educational piece. So what does your training philosophy and what does their kind of training regimen look like?

Cameron (10:37):
Man, training's crazy. So to me, it's, it's about repetition. We want everything in which our guys do out in the field to become second nature. Right? I want to take in some regards on one side of it, I want them to know and understand the why's and why they're doing certain things, but then on the flipside of the coin, I want them to be able to respond in a moment's notice. Right? And the only way that you really get through that, like whether it's, you know, safety training, rescue, training, the CPR first aid, you know, the RF awareness, whatever, the, the long list of the different trainings in which we offer it all ultimately needs to become second nature. And you really only get that by repetitions. So we we have a multiple, we have like a lot of different things that we, we approach and you have to continue to keep the message live and in front of them and thinking, and so we have weekly safety calls.

Cameron (11:30):
It's like every Wednesday morning at 7:15am sharp, and then 9:15am central time, we have a safety call and it's not just a safety call for Enertech it's for the whole Enertech holdings family. Right? So we have a multiple number of sister companies. They all join in. I mean, at any given week, there's over 700 people on this call and it's like a, it's like a 15 minute call. And we break down these real simple topics into three main categories, three main bullet points. We talk to 'em about what these bullet points are, what are the three things that we really want everybody to take away from the call? And we talk about why they're important. We do quarterly training at all of our offices. So we bring all the people in that need the training for that quarter. And we run 'em through the whole gambit, you know, the tower climber rescue, the rigor, the CPR first aid, the, the whole list of things, caps, hoist, operation, you name it, we run 'em through it.

Cameron (12:27):
By doing that, we keep ahead of everything. We would rather approach anything from safety from a proactive standpoint, as opposed to a reactive standpoint. So we don't wait for people's training certifications to lapse we're training. 'em A quarter in advance that way we can stay productive. We, we can stay with, keep them with everything fresh and, and upfront in their mindset. As well as a safety committee, we have a safety committee that most people and most people have safety committees, but where I think that ours is a little bit different than most is that our safety committee, half of it is made up of individuals from the field, not managers. Right? So the reason why we do that is to have actual, real live input from the field. The last thing we want to do the last thing I wanna do is to create some sort of rule or some sort of standard operating procedure on how we tackle a certain task, but then not weigh in and get the weigh in from our or the buy-in from our individuals or our employees, the men, women out in the field, getting it done.

Cameron (13:30):
So it, once again, it's about being down in the weeds, keeping your on the pulse and understanding what it is. Don't lose sight, don't lose touch of what it is that your men and women are actually out there doing day in and day out. That's important. They gotta have a buy-in, they gotta be bought into it. They gotta understand why it is that they're doing what they're doing. And it's, it's, it's not always perfect, but it, we make it work and it it's awesome.

Allie (13:54):
Yeah. I think that's so huge. And, you know, in my field experience in getting to know a lot of the safety professionals across a wide range of verticals and, and different tasks that they're managing, I think one thing that I've started to notice is the ones that are most successful. I are the ones that had previously done the job that they are now in charge of safety over the top of because they get it exactly, like you said, you have people from the field on those safety committees, because at the end of the day, they're the ones that are having to abide by these rules and regulations. And if somebody that has never done never touched a finger, never put a finger on any of the processes that they're being asked to do, then it can come down and be like, well, you have no idea what I'm dealing with in the field.

Allie (14:40):
And you're just telling me this, because you think X, Y, Z, but actually having a feel for what you're experiencing and how it works, I think goes such a long way. So that's, that's really impressive that you guys do that for sure. One thing that I, you know, industry wide and not just your industry, but specifically yours because of the climbing nature and how high oftentimes these workers are, you get that notion that it's the newer climbers that tend to have the most injuries, but really, I think, you know, when you dive into the data or just what you're seeing, oftentimes do you see, it's actually, you know, sometimes the older workers, because they're so used to these tasks have become mundane to them that, you know, some of the safety background and that knowledge and things to look out for might slip their mind, or what, what do you kind of see as far as when injuries do occur?

Cameron (15:33):
Oh, I think <laugh>, you know, in sitting here listening to you talk, the, the, the first thing that comes to mind is complacency outside of working at height and driving our vehicles to, and from the jobsites the number one thing that we constantly battle with is complacency. And what, let, let's be honest, I'll be honest. I mean, I even find myself becoming complacent in my personal life, in, in my day to day stuff. Right. We're all guilty of it. None of us are perfect. But ultimately I think what we're talking about is, is complacency. I, you know, I'd like to think that incidents involving your less experience worker or your green hands is more so due to the lack of experience or exposure out in the field. There's, there's only so much that you can accomplish in trainings or, or lack of training environment.

Cameron (16:24):
The rest comes from on the job training. So this is where the tribal knowledge gets passed from one generation to the next. And, and honestly, it, it can get dicey. There's a reason why I say that is, is because the veteran guys, they can pass those complacencies on. Right. It kind of comes back to what I said earlier, because do this, because I said, so this is the way we've always done it. This is the way you're gonna do it. It's my way. Or the highway you know, how many good idea I've gotten from somebody that's green to the field? And they're like, okay, I see what we're doing, but why don't we do it this way?

Allie (16:59):
It's a good idea.

Cameron (17:00):
And I'm like, you're a pretty smart guy. Aren't you? You know, like, Hey yeah, we, yeah, it's a great way. It's a fresh way, you know, a new set of eyes and somebody else looking at it from a different, with a different set of lenses, Hey man, you're a hundred percent correct. Yeah. We can try that. Let's give it a shot. You know, it's the, the older guys tend to get set in their ways and not all of them, you know? But it, it, I find that the, the older generations or the, those veteran employees, they seem to suffer from complacency a little bit more. But no matter the person, the age or the experience level, you know, like I said, complacency, it takes place at all levels. So I think that there, there may be some validity to, to what you're saying, but I think also it could be argued from, from both points. I think that from a risk perspective, being out on the job site yes, there's an inherent amount of risk that comes with somebody that's lesser experienced or fresh out of training. So you really have to put, you know hand to glove and, and really make sure that they understand what they're doing and give them the attention in which they need that on the job training is so crucial. The real life experience and the exposures, and exposing those people to certain job tasks at the, at their appropriate time when they're ready for it.

Allie (18:14):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think you, you said it perfectly, it can happen on both ends. It's not looking at one group versus the other and saying this guy's more likely to get hurt because he is new versus he's been here for 30 years, you know, he's gonna be more complacent. So I think you, you know, nailed that. It's just one of those misconceptions that you often hear probably from people outside of the industry. So it's, it's great to get your take on it from the inside of, you know, what might be really happening here. And like you said, there's, you don't hear about it a lot. You guys do the right things. Safety is top of mind, you have buy-in. So it's, it's not as prevalent as people may think it is, but you know, one thing as we talk about your industry is 5G evolution and the demand for those networks and people to build them. Does that pressure, I mean, you kind of mentioned this a little bit earlier when we were talking about priorities and values, but do you feel that pressure of everybody wanting 5G and wanting it right now? Or is that just, you know, again, within the value system, we'll get there. Ubut we're gonna do it the right way.

Cameron (19:18):
Yeah. The pressure's always there, but once again, you know, I, I like you just hit on, I, I come back to the values versus priorities. And when you have something as your value, you don't, you don't waver away from that. You buckle down and, and when you need to you, you double down on it. We had a, we had, so this past month we had a near perfect safety score across all of our markets in which we're at. And, you know, on one side of the hand, my safety team is giving up everybody praise and, you know, great job. You guys are doing awesome. Keep up the good work. And, and then I'm like, okay, we're gonna play good cop, bad cop here a little bit. Like, I love the fact that you guys are taking this and running with it and you're bought into it.

Cameron (20:04):
But look, I'm thinking complacency, like don't become complacent, keep your, you know, keep your eye on the ball, guys. Let's double down now, you know, like you've done it once. You're gonna do it again. I know you are like, so it's, once again, it's doubling down and buckling down and knowing that, Hey look, yes, we understand we wanna service our customers. It's our job to, to make our customers happy. But more importantly, I know beyond a shadow, it doubt the customers that we partner with. They want us to do it safely. And you, we we've never really had very much pushback where you run into issues is <laugh> where you run into issues is when you call your customer on Friday at four o'clock and you say, Hey, by the way, I have training next week. And none of my guys are gonna be able to work on your jobs.

Cameron (20:49):
That's the problem. It's a shame that we're in communication we're in like in the line of communication, right? We're in the communication business, we're keeping people connected, right? But so many times that communication breaks between you and your customers or you and your employees or whatever. So it, once it, again comes back to the values versus priorities. If, if you're, if you really want to take care of your customer and you really want to do the right thing, it has to be a value and you have to communicate, and I've never had a customer come back and say, ah, we really don't want you to do safety training. That's really too much, right. It's the lack of communication that gets you into trouble. So over-communicate, when in doubt, if you think you're communicating well, you're probably not communicating a little bit better, you know, it's like over-communicate, I've never had somebody say, yeah, I really like that Cameron guy, but he over communicates,

Allie (21:39):
He communicates too much.

Cameron (21:40):
Over-communicates, Too much. So.

Allie (21:43):
Yeah. And I feel like at the end of the day, if, if a company did say, you know what, actually, we don't think safety's worth it. You're probably gonna be like, ah, you know what? I think we might wanna re-evaluate why we're working with you.

Cameron (21:51):
I don't think we wanna partner with you. <Laugh>

Allie (21:55):
Exactly. Kind of shifting gears a little bit. So just for a background in the spring of 2019 we surveyed over 350 of your EHS peers on how their companies are addressing the hazards presented by objects, falling from height. So of course you guys deal with that on a daily basis. And although we have seen a shift in, you know, the last 18 months of people talking about it more, only about 50% of the respondents said they had a prevention policy in place, which is very intriguing knowing that, you know, we are human. Like we mentioned before human error happens, we all drop things. I drop my phone more often than I'd like to admit. But it's interesting that there, there weren't a lot of prevention policies in place. So what kind of evolution have you seen in drop prevention in your time in the wireless industry and what do you think needs to be done to get those numbers up to, you know, 80% of people having a prevention policy in place?

Cameron (22:53):
Yeah. So that was at NATE, right?

Allie (22:56):

Cameron (22:57):
Yep. Yeah. Hey, I was, I was one of the 350 <laugh>.

Allie (23:01):
Woo. Hopefully you were part of that 50% then.

Cameron (23:03):
Yeah, no. Yeah. We do have a drop tool prevention program. Yeah. And quick question, had you, have you ever heard the, is saying a penny drop from the empire state building can kill somebody?

Allie (23:12):
Yes, yes. Yeah. I use that.

Cameron (23:14):
Do you think it's true or false?

Allie (23:16):
I actually think it's well, I don't know. I actually think I saw a MythBuster on it that the weight of the penny wasn't quite enough, but there was just a bolt that fell 42 stories that penetrated a hard hat and killed someone. Yeah.

Cameron (23:27):
Did you see that?

Allie (23:28):

Cameron (23:28):
Yeah, no. So I, you know, I seen the same thing and when we were talking about, you know dropped object prevention stuff, I, I remember that saying, coming up and thinking, man, what a terrible way. That would be terrible. You know?

Allie (23:39):
Like a penny got me, what do you mean?

Cameron (23:40):
<Laugh> Of all the things, you know? Yeah. But no, seriously. I mean, to your point, I bet wrench, I bet a wrench would cause a lot of damage to screwdriver. You know, tape measure, loose material, tape measure. Yeah. I mean, you name it. So when we first, one of the first things I remember learning when you get in the industry is if somebody ever yells headache run, like run under an ice bridge or run to the tower. And I was thinking, man, is there, is there not a better way to, to, to handle that? And you know, thinking back whenever I first got started, we used small runners. Like, you know, there's like little Petzel runners, you know, we'd use them like on our expensive tools, like our antenna alignment tools. And granted back, we didn't have any, AET tools back in, you know, three, we were shooting everything with azimuth, you know, with the compass, but in declination and everything else.

Cameron (24:36):
But anyway, that's, that's another topic. But we use it on, on our sawzall. We used it on our drills. We used it on our Spud Crescents and our little beaders. And if we didn't have a petzel runner, we were using mule tape or some sort of pull string or something. We were improvising. It goes to show that even back in 2003, when I got in, we knew it was an issue. Right. But we just tool tethers. Weren't a big thing back then, we just made our own. And then it was like later on as an industry evolved, you know, people like you guys came out out with like really awesome products. The, you know, even though over the years, the advancements have, you know, kind of came a long way. There there's really not a good reason not to use them. I, I kind of tell people why, if you have a tool and if you have a resource available to you that you know is gonna make your job safer in, in the long run, be more efficient.

Cameron (25:33):
Why would you not? Why would you not do it? I remember also getting pressure earlier on in my career, Cameron, hurry up, you gotta get this job done or Hey, so, and so's taking too long on this job. They need to, they need to get this done faster. I used to always tell 'em, Hey look, first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna focus on safety. We're gonna focus on quality. You do those two enough efficiency and productivity is the third piece. That's just naturally gonna fall into place and tool tethers and that bit fall right into the same category. If you're constantly dropping a screwdriver from 250 feet, one, you're eventually gonna get somebody hurt two. You're gonna damage your tools and equipment. And three, who's gonna be the guy that's gonna climb down, grab that screwdriver and then climb back up. You know? So once again, prime example of a little, an ounce of prevention's worth of pound of cure, strap it up, use a tool tether, accidents are gonna happen. We work in all sorts of crazy unique positions. Have you ever tried to put a light cover on standing on your head?

Allie (26:34):
No, I can't say that I have.

Cameron (26:36):
Neither have I, I just thought it sounded cool. <Laugh> but seriously, like, like if you're, if you're leaned off of a tower working underneath a platform trying to secure some jumpers or grounding or color code weather, you know, weatherproof tightening it down to a bracket, whatever. Right. We're in these crazy positions that, you know, quite honestly aren't very natural. And the last thing I think part of the reason why we have so much of a buy-in issue is because the last thing somebody wants to be dealing with is limited tool space in their pouches. If you have 10 tools in your pouches and 10 different independent tool lanyards, eventually something is gonna get tangled up. And then you're gonna pull on one tool and it's gonna pull three other tools out of your bag. And then you're in a tangled mess in this awkward position trying to execute a task.

Cameron (27:29):
Right. so I think that ultimately what it's gonna do, what we're gonna have to do is we got to get back to encouraging our employees and the people in which we partner with and work with to just slow down, slow down, think about what you're fixing to do. Okay. You know, you gotta get underneath this platform. You know that you've got 10 tools in your bag. Let's limit the number of tools that are in your bag. Let's come up with a plan, execute it and then move on. So much of what we do is hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry up. Are you done yet? Right? But if, if you, if you stop and think about it and the amount of re-trips that go out to, you know, individuals go out to sites and to go fix punch items or whatever, every time you have to send somebody back to a site, you're taking a chance, you're increasing the odds of something to happen.

Cameron (28:25):
So if you don't have time to do it right, the first time it's not worth doing, like you might as well, slow down, slow down, think about what you're doing and come up with a plan, execute that plan. The industry's gonna have to continue to push this issue and talk about it. Naturally. I think everybody wakes up at the beginning of the day. I'd like to think, at least they wake up and say, I want to do a good job today. I don't, I don't think anybody wakes up and says, oh, I think I'm gonna get, I think I'm gonna get one of my employees hurt today. Or I think I'm gonna get one of my guys, you know, I think I'm gonna drop something from the tower just to, just to see what happens. I think people naturally want to do good.

Cameron (29:09):
And for those people that may not be a hundred percent bought in. I think it's about, we gotta do a better job of showing people what the consequences are. If you don't. I think video demonstrations, so many of the people within our industry, if, I mean, I can only speak for myself really, I guess, is that I'm, I'm more of a visual learner. I like to see things I like to, you know, I can read something and, and generally nail it down. I may have to read it three or four times, but I, I will get it. But if I see something once, maybe twice, I got it. So the more we show people, what could happen if you don't do this, I think the better off it'll be in terms of getting the buy-in, ultimately it comes down to the buy-in of the men and women that are out there. You know, the boots on the ground, getting the stuff done day in and day out.

Allie (29:59):
The one thing I hear a lot of times when I'm in the field, trying to help a company implement a dropped object prevention policy is, you know, I'll, I'll bring exactly what you mentioned up is who wants to climb all the way back down to get that screwdriver that you just dropped. And I kid you not more often than not. I hear, well, I just bring three of 'em then. So just in case I drop one or two and I was like, hold on. So you're telling me that you're putting more weight on your body to climb up that tower because you know, you're probably gonna drop something like, why don't we just prevent it from falling in the first place? It seems very simple, but I completely understand kind of one of the pain points that you brought up is if you're individually tethering each tool that's in your pouch, you could have that tangle risk. And, and hopefully that's one thing that, you know, we are working towards from an education and awareness perspective is teaching people how to eliminate that from happening. But I'd love to know kind of what you would love to see in the future from companies like us and others that are trying to put, you know, products in place for tool tethering. What would you love to see as far as an innovation from us that would help mitigate that pain point?

Cameron (31:10):
I'm kind of big on kits. Like I want <laugh> that may not be a good saying, but I'm, I'm like one throat to choke. Like I want, I want, I want to know that I got, like, I got one nose bag, like, I got my nose bag that's assigned to me and it's set up just the way that I want it. And it has all the tools that I need. Like, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt. I'm gonna need an inch and a quarter wrench. I'm gonna need a three quarter inch wrench. I'm gonna need some sort of cutting device scissors, razor knife, something right through certain tools that every tower climber has. Right. And that they'll fight over if it's in their buddy's bag as opposed to theirs. You know? So I, I, I would like to see a nose bag.

Cameron (31:52):
That is what I kind of call like a smart nose bag that it's already pre kitted. It has all the tools that you're gonna need for that day. And then if you're doing a different task the next day, you could and re-kit out that bag with the tools that you need and you send it up the tower and you clip it off. And then you have an interchangeable system, just like what you guys have, where, you know, you have one tether tied back to you, maybe two, and you, you swap out the pieces that are on it. So it's like a quick connect. You just reach your hand in the bag, you pull it out. You already know where it is just by feel. I think of like an electrician, we've all seen those electricians that come to your house or work or out in the field that they know by heart.

Cameron (32:32):
Like they know by touch and feel and just repetition. Once again, repetition that they know that their screwdriver is in their back left side of their middle pouch. You know, so they know same thing with the tower climbers. We gotta be able to have the tools and the ability to get access to those tools in a system that keeps the tools nice, neat, and organized. But isn't a two-handed operation. Every time you turn around, once again, we're working in crazy positions. A lot of times we gotta be leaning back holding on, you know, one leg wrapped around an angle, a hand holding onto a tower leg, and then reaching in our back to grab that inch and a quarter wrench and leaning out to tighten up a jumper or something, you know, so having to stop what you're doing and, you know, utilize a two-handed operation to swap out or to get a different tool can sometimes become a matter of whether somebody is gonna be completely bought into tethering an item or not. So it has to be easy. It has to be convenient. Other than that, it's there's, you just gotta commit, you gotta commit to do it. And you gotta say, okay, from now on, I'm gonna do this. It's gonna be painful. And but I'm gonna do the right thing.

Allie (33:44):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think we're halfway there with what, with what you're looking for. We do make a tower climber kit that will tether all of the tools. But we don't have that bag component filled in quite yet. So maybe you and I will connect offline and see if we can't make that happen for you and everybody else in the tower industry. But Cameron just really wanna thank you for your time today. This was such an insightful conversation and hope everybody listening to Radio Free Tenacity enjoyed it as well. Thank you.

Cameron (34:12):
Yep. I appreciate the opportunity. Hopefully we'll get to talk again in the future. So thanks everyone. I appreciate your time.

Al (34:19):
Alright. And there you have it, I promised an interesting convo at the top and I don't think Allie and Cameron made a liar out of me. And if this is something you think your EHS peers would dig, please do share this episode and drop us a review. For more info and insight on tool tethering and drop objects prevention, go to ergo.zone/drops. You'll find everything you need to educate yourself and others, including how-to tool tethering videos, and a template you can use to get your own dropped objects policy down in writing. Thanks again for listening and stay safe out there for you.