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Continuing a tradition of dairying innovation Back to 'Case Studies'

The region that brought the world the rotary cowshed, ear tags for cows, and kick-started New Zealand’s dairy export industry has another pioneering dairying invention to add to its portfolio – the SafeRise platform.
“Working in the dairy industry I came across farmers, vets and others working at height and standing on step stools, piles of pellets, or a plank between two saw horses or drums to undertake things like ear tag reading, artificial insemination, pregnancy testing, tail painting and the likes,” says occupational health nurse turned SafeRise inventor Linda Cook.  
This is clearly unsafe, and the risk of a fall goes up significantly if a cow kicks back, the platform becomes covered in manure, the plank tips or the worker steps off the edge. I couldn’t see why anyone would expose themselves to that level of risk.”
Aiming to raise the safety standards in rotary dairy sheds, Linda conceived the idea of the SafeRise platform by designing a purpose built, permanent, height-adjustable platform that could meet a range of needs and uses.
Her innovative solution creates a sturdy platform with a host of safety features, such as hand rails, tool holders, quiet battery operation, portability and complete customisation to fit safely to any size shed.
The platform has won many safety accolades and endorsements from farmers with some even ordering additional platforms for other farms they own or manage.
“We have a long way to go before they’re a household name for rotary sheds, but when it comes to the safety of farmers and farm workers it’s about preventing accidents and everyone going home in one piece at the end of the day”.
Sales have been good, launching with a strong showing at the influential Fieldays event, with particular success in the South Island.
“We started with an electric model which has now been superseded with a rechargeable battery powered version, getting rid of leads and eliminating the risks of electrical gear in what can be a very wet environment.”
We’re even making single and double units which double the work area - useful for the larger herds or two-person jobs,” Linda says.
From the start, Venture Taranaki has been there to help Linda turn her great idea into a profit-making product and business.
“The team at Venture Taranaki has been fantastic. From the beginning the business advisors have been on board, getting me a research and development grant for my initial prototype right through to helping me get to the top 3 finalists in the ANZ Business Plan Awards last year.”
“I’ve accessed funding through the Voucher Scheme to learn more about marketing and most recently to look at intellectual property and making sure the ideas behind SafeRise are protected.”
“We’re now looking at taking SafeRise international, so I’ll be heading back to Venture Taranaki for advice on how to do this!”
Linda has also worked extensively with a Business Mentor, who has helped with everything from marketing and pricing to dairy industry knowledge and getting to Fieldays.
“The mentor is fabulous if you’ve got an idea you need to bounce – they’ll quickly tell you if it’s brilliant or a no-brainer, and in that way they can be a real safety net.”
Much in the same way a SafeRise platform is providing safety net for workers in a growing number of cowsheds nationwide.

  Continuing a tradition of dairying innovation  

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