Stand and deliver

Ten years ago a former Australian Army officer and a robotics engineer started a Brisbane company with a safety system to protect fishermen from being washed off rocks or the decks of boats. The pair applied their product to the motto ‘good safety is good business’. Standfast CEO Cameron Baker tells Brisbane Business News how his health and safety product has attracted sophisticated investors worldwide as an industry standard.

IN 1999 ex-military officer Cameron Baker, along with business partner Neil McLaughlin, established Standfast Enterprises with a product called The Barnacle, initially targeted to protect people from falls while fishing.

But as companies started to realise that poor safety can deeply affect the bottom line, the pair sought to find a better, more practical way of keeping workers safe – a decision that led to the product Total Restraint Access Module (TRAM) in 2002, which has since generated rapid growth in global demand.

The key issue that Baker found was that while many safety products already on the market met industry standards, they often weren’t contextual to the situation at hand, but TRAM was able to solve that problem.

“The whole drive behind the business was to have Standfast products that were proactive in stopping falls — not reactive,” says Baker.

“A catastrophic fall causes massive morale issues. So the TRAM can and is used as a recruiting and retention tool, not to mention eliminating the cost of having a person hospitalized that can never work again and the potential legal issues that follow.”

Now sold in 28 countries, from the US to South Africa and Indonesia, Standfast has an extended market reach with blue-chip customers like BP, Shell, Orica and Chevron Texaco.

“The decision to go abroad was made simple by the size and initial acceptance of the product. At a US tradeshow the Standfast rep was approached by the owner of the largest dry bulk haulers in the US,” says Baker.

“The company had experienced a fall and the owner did not want to have that happen again. He ordered 500 units then and there. That company has ordered over 700 units and they have not had an incident since.”

This year Standfast signed a global distribution deal with one of the world’s leading safety equipment manufacturers Capital Safety.

“This is a huge step for Standfast. Teamed with Capitals extensive network of distributors and experienced sales network and people TRAM is poised to become the new industry standard for accessing and working safely on horizontal surfaces,” says Baker.

“Other industries Standfast and Capital will be taking on include wind energy, roofing, shipping, and agriculture to name a few. With Capital Safety it is a new beginning for Standfast and only the start of the story.”

In 2008 Standfast moved its head office to Chicago so it would be in a better position to capture the US market, but it still has offices in Brisbane, the UK and Malaysia.

Enjoyed this article?

Don't miss out on the knowledge and insights to be gained from our daily news and features.

Subscribe today to unlock unlimited access to in-depth business coverage, expert analysis, and exclusive content across all devices.

Support independent journalism and stay informed with stories that matter to you.

Subscribe now and get 50% off your first year!

Four time-saving tips for automating your investment portfolio
Partner Content
In today's fast-paced investment landscape, time is a valuable commodity. Fortunately, w...
Etoro
Advertisement

Related Stories

Golden handshakes to departing ASX100 CEOs hit 12-year high

Golden handshakes to departing ASX100 CEOs hit 12-year high

Around one in every six CEOs of ASX100 companies left their job&nbs...

Maggie Beer Holdings CEO Kinda Grange resigns just 16 months into the job

Maggie Beer Holdings CEO Kinda Grange resigns just 16 months into the job

The revolving door of leadership at Maggie Beer Holdings (ASX: MBH)...

Dreamworld owner reports improved ticket sales despite severe peak season storms

Dreamworld owner reports improved ticket sales despite severe peak season storms

The owner of Gold Coast theme parks Dreamworld and WhiteWater World...

Peter Farrelly's action comedy Balls Up starring Mark Wahlberg to be filmed in QLD

Peter Farrelly's action comedy Balls Up starring Mark Wahlberg to be filmed in QLD

The Australian film industry continues to attract Hollywood product...