A strong desire to adhere to regulations has seen Elders Innisfail in Queensland win this month’s Agsafe Achiever Award.
With the support of one of Australia’s leading rural service providers, the staff at Elders Innisfail are particularly safety conscious.
Their original premises, which operated from an old shed situated beside a national highway, had limited access and no parking for semitrailers or customer vehicles. During the cane harvesting season, trains would run between the highway and the store. Despite the many challenges the building presented, the team spent considerable time and effort ensuring they complied with regulations.
“Workplace safety is a high priority for Elders. All branches across Australia undertake procedures and audits to maintain compliance,” said Barby Shephard, Elders Innisfail Safety Officer and the Northern Safety Committee Representative.
In March 2014, Elders Innisfail moved into a new premises which was custom designed for the company. This has increased the safety of the business substantially.
The new building is situated at the edge of an industrial estate and features a floor which is designed to direct any spills to sumps which then drain into external catchment tanks. The concrete aprons surrounding the building ensure traffic flow is one way, and there is ample room for loading and unloading.
“All products in the new shed have been organised according to the recommended guidelines,” said Ms Shephard. “For example, our chemicals are segregated with new pallet racking.”
It is this pledge to ensuring the new branch is compliant with Agsafe’s ideals which led facilitator Wayne Sear to nominate Elders Innisfail for the Agsafe Achiever Award.
“The Elders team are serious about their regulatory responsibilities and were able to take advantage of a recent Agsafe premises audit to fine-tune the store,” he said.
“They’d bought signage and placarding and were waiting for Agsafe to visit to decide the best locations to place them.”
The staff believe their customers feel safer knowing the branch is Agsafe accredited, especially because they are a new store.
“Agsafe provides us with ongoing, up-to-date support. Our employees are better equipped through their Agsafe training to provide a safe and knowledgeable service to our clients,” said Branch Manager Neil Stoter.
Elders has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Agsafe for many years.
“This relationship improves and enhances our own Elders safety policies and procedures within our workplace. We see Agsafe as a valuable industry partner,” said Mr Stoter.
Mr Sear reaffirmed the relationship between Agsafe and Elders.
“The commitment shown by Elders Innisfail to perfect their premises helps to ensure the safety and reliability of our industry. This store is a great example of how a tailored building can easily meet requirements while running with an efficiency that is hard to achieve in some older premises.”