Smart farmer sees solution

Lauren CelenzaCountryman
The West logo

A close call gave one farmer an idea that could save lives — high visibility vests for all farmers.

Last harvest, Corrigin farmer Lindsay Smoker thought of a life without his son, Brad.

As he took off in the header one morning, he didn’t see Brad who quickly jumped out of the way just in time to miss the blades and spinning comb.

“I could see my wife was out of the way because she was wearing a high vis shirt, ” Lindsay said.

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“I went to take off and Brad, who was wearing black, was on the end of the comb.

“It was so lucky that I took off slowly because Brad managed to jump off and move out of the way.”

The close shave prompted Lindsay to push his solution to reducing injury and death on farms from bigger and faster machinery.

As a result, FarmSafe WA Alliance, with the help of sponsorship from CBH and WAFarmers, has provided 800 high vis vests for farmers this year free of charge.

Lindsay has been promoting the vests along with the Corrigin Farm Improvement Group’s Sandy Turton.

“It’s a farmer-based initiative and it works, ” Sandy said.

FarmSafe WA executive officer Sheila Payne said they had always wanted a supply of safety vests, but it wasn’t until Lindsay’s great idea that it came to fruition.

“If it saves one life it’s worth it, ” she said. “We are all about safer farming and reducing injuries and fatalities on rural properties, and if we can continue getting sponsorship for things like this we will carry on with more.

“The initiative came from Lindsay and we totally supported it.

“We are lucky to have members like Lindsay.

“We are following the same course which is looking after the rural sector.”

WAFarmers said it was pleased to be able to work with FarmSafe WA to be able to provide members with hundreds of free safety vests during the year.

“The vests initiative was one way in which WAFarmers could demonstrate its ongoing commitment to its occupational health and safety portfolio, ” a spokesman said.

“We’ve received a great response from our members about the vests, and look forward to being able to distribute more at Wagin Woolorama in March.”

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