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Safety-conscious store wins national award

A passion for improvement and safety has helped Western Ag Derrinallum take out this month’s Agsafe Achiever Award.

Western Ag is a privately owned and independent supplier of agronomic advice and farm production inputs. It operates from four accredited branches and three depot locations across the Western District and Wimmera regions in Victoria.

The company began operations in 2005 and now provides services to over 650 farming clients collectively covering approximately 300,000 hectares of various crops and pastures.

As Branch Manager of Western Ag Derrinallum, Brad Everett knows safety is a priority when handling potentially dangerous agvet chemicals in the workplace.

“People are our greatest asset – some staff have well over 25 years’ experience within the industry. We use Agsafe training, guidelines and processes as an integral part of our day-to-day operations to ensure a safe working environment,” he said.

Brad believes their Agsafe Facilitator John Fennell has been a great benefit to the business.

“John is very professional and we act on a lot from his advice and mirror that professionalism into our business. He explains the reasons behind his recommendations and listens to our ideas. We appreciate that we can work with him in partnership on safety issues, instead of feeling as if we are dictated to.”

John, who services Agsafe premises across Victoria, said the team at Western Ag have an excellent attitude towards safety.

“I have visited the Derrinallum store several times and have always been impressed with the comprehensive documentation of procedures and their thorough approach to risk management.”

“Ashley Miller is the driving force behind their success and is ably assisted by Brad and the rest of the staff. Everyone is open to suggestions for improvement, even when not required by legislation, and they respond to corrective actions very quickly. The store is up-to-date with their chemical WHS requirements and staff actively work to improve their environment.”

As part of their duty of care, Western Ag Derrinallum also offers advice and assistance to clients in the correct storage and handling of chemicals on-farm.

“Agsafe helps us think about compliance with legislation and how it applies to us and our customers,” said Brad. “For example, we have always embraced the ‘Ute It, Don’t Boot It’ message and practice it without exception in all of our stores.”

“Agsafe also sends us regular emails and updates that provide a lot of information about the industry. It saves us a lot of time when we don’t have to go looking for that information ourselves.”

Western Ag is also a member of the Aglink group of independent rural businesses which supplies in excess of $1.2 billion in farm inputs annually in Australia.

Agsafe Achiever photo


Photo caption: The Western Ag Derrinallum team (from left): Paul Barker, Robert Poole, Will Greig, Jackie Elliot, Brayden Robertson, Christine O’Flaherty and Brad Everett.