Tower Safety: Good News & Weird News / by Neil Savage

We'll deliver the good news first. 3M, the mega-corporation everyone loves for their diverse product line (everything from stethoscopes to camouflaged hockey tape) is investing in the tower climber safety industry, to the tune of $2.5 billion. What does $2.5 billion get you? It buys the fall-protection equipment supplier Capital Safety, whose products include harnesses, lanyards, and retractable fall arrest devices. According to RCR Wireless, "This is a strategic move for 3M, which believes increased regulatory focus on tower worker safety in both developed and undeveloped countries will push the growth of the industry."

Don't believe RCR? Take it straight from 3M's mouthpiece, Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and CEO: “Personal safety is a large and strategically important growth business in the 3M portfolio. The acquisition of Capital Safety bolsters our personal safety platform and will build on our fundamental strengths in technology, manufacturing, global capabilities and brand.” Let's hear it for corporate talk!

Okay, so that's the good news. Now, how about the weird news? To be more precise, it's weird, slightly unsettling news. Anonymous, a hacktivist group (that's hacker activists, for all those not in the know), posted a threatening YouTube video earlier in June warning tower industry trade associations to... well, it's not really clear what they're warning against. You can check out the video here, if you want the heebie-jeebies. What's even weirder? We headed over to Cellular News this morning, and found it hacked by Anonymous. These are strange times we're living in!