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Committed to safety

Landmark Elmore, this month’s Agsafe Achiever, has undergone many changes over the years, but has remained a leading store in Northern Victoria due to a four generation commitment by staff to improve safety.

The store was first established by Harry Holmberg just after WWI as a grain buying and produce retailer. Harry’s nephew Herb continued the business after WWII, selling header and tractor parts, as well as fuel and agricultural inputs. Herb’s son Russell joined the business in 1976 and further expanded the offering to the area with a greater focus on agchem supplies.

In 2001, Landmark Bendigo and Russ embarked on a partnership to sell agricultural inputs, on behalf of Landmark, out of the current premises. This continued until a Landmark corporate store took over the venture in 2012. Russ’ son Troy, the current Merchandise Manager, is now following in his father’s footsteps as the fourth Holmberg to operate the business from the site.

Branch Manager Greg Toomey said the seven person team invested into making safety improvements around the store and warehouses with the help of Agsafe.

“Accreditation visits give us an idea of what we are doing well and what we need to improve on. As a result, we’ve recently updated our placarding and racking in addition to reviewing the segregation of our chemicals.”

The biggest single change was the demolition in April 2014 of the 100-year-old storage shed and agricultural sales area which was well past its suitable usage.

“Our customers were very understanding during the knock down and construction of the new shed. It has provided us with better storage facilities and traffic management throughout the site,” said Mr Toomey.

It is this pledge to continual improvement in an ever-changing industry which led Agsafe facilitators David Rose and Elizabeth Hak to nominate Landmark Elmore for the Agsafe Achiever Award.

“There have been enormous improvements at the site. When building the new shed, Russ Holmberg took great care in the design and construction to ensure compliance,” said Ms Hak.

Mr Rose added, “All staff were present on the day we visited the store and actively participated in the audit process. There were plenty of questions and the staff were keen to learn.”

Mr Toomey believes that Elizabeth and David are more than fair in the way they approach their job.

“They always praise our efforts to improve our compliance with regulations. They also work with us to look for ways to increase general safety in the workplace.”

“Agsafe training makes us more aware of the risks in the workplace and we certainly look to do things in a more correct and compliant fashion. There’s always more to do. Improvements are an ongoing process that we continue to focus on.”

Mr Toomey and Agsafe would like to recognise Landmark Elmore’s Administration Manager Sandra Holmberg for her pivotal role in the branch’s vastly improved OH&S and compliance activities.

Photo caption: 

The Landmark Elmore team (from left): Troy Holmberg, Matt Gilmour, Chris Dunn, Greg Toomey, Matt Nihill and Russ Holmberg.