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Committed to customer safety

A strong desire to adhere to regulations has seen Kermodes Rural & Dairy in New South Wales win this month’s Agsafe Achiever Award.

Established in 2005, Kermodes Rural & Dairy is a family owned and run two-person operation in Singleton specialising in dairy equipment, consumables and installation.

Greg Kermode has over 20 years of experience in the dairy industry, including 5 years working on a stud dairy farm. Jodie Kermode grew up on cattle properties and has a background in customer service. Together, the Kermodes are responsible for a wide range of add-on products which supply the diverse needs of both town and rural clients.

When it comes to chemicals, dairy hygiene products make up the majority of sales, with most classified as Class 8 Dangerous Goods.

“Jodie and Greg want to make sure their business is compliant with all chemical storage legislation,” said Agsafe trainer and facilitator Phil Tucker. “To do this they rely heavily on the Agsafe Industry Code of Practice to develop emergency plans and help them store and record their chemicals.”

The Kermodes believe their customers feel safer knowing the store is Agsafe accredited.

Ms Kermode said, “Our customers are aware that we’re aligned with Agsafe through our signage, advice and the provision of material safety data sheets when they purchase products from us. They can feel safe in the knowledge that what we are doing adheres to best practice and has been independently audited.”

Mr Kermode keeps his clients informed of their obligations when purchasing and handling chemicals.

“We make sure farmers have a copy of the Emergency Procedures Guide when they leave the store,” he said.

“At first, Agsafe accreditation can seem daunting, but with some work, the systems easily fall into place. Many of the requirements are jobs that need attention infrequently such as signage. Otherwise, material safety data sheets and chemical storage only require a small amount of time each week to ensure everything is up-to-date. Mr Tucker has a wealth of experience and works with us to find solutions for any areas of concern during the audit and accreditation process.”

Mr Kermode said he cannot afford to opt out of the Agsafe program.

“We want to remain compliant for the safety of our customers and the staff. When setting up shop displays and handling stock with trolleys or a forklift, we use the knowledge gained through Agsafe to guarantee mishaps are avoided. This can be as simple as ensuring walkways and doorways are always kept clear.”

Mr Tucker said, “Jodie is in charge of the store ‘housekeeping’ and this is of a high standard throughout the merchandise and storage area.”