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Safety essential for small business

Tottenham Rural Trading, winner of this month’s Agsafe Achiever Award, is a family owned and run business catering to a diverse rural community.

Established in 1991, the store originally operated from the front part of the building that Rose and Rob Brodin proudly now own.

“We have grown significantly over the years and currently supply hardware, produce and fuel, as well as everything the man on the land needs,” said Rob, who is also the Store Manager.

Located in central New South Wales, Tottenham Rural Trading serves a large region that is mainly associated with cropping and livestock.

The Brodins have been involved in the agvet chemical reseller industry since 1985, when Robert worked for a local CRT store in Tottenham. After it closed, they decided to go it alone.

Rob believes his store’s involvement with Agsafe makes him much more aware of the legality and responsibility of running a business.

“Agsafe provides us with a sound base from which to operate. As a result of this, we can be confident that we are providing the best advice to our customers in a safe and secure environment,” he said.

Rose added, “We had no idea of the obligations involved before becoming Agsafe accredited, but we now know that the safe handling, storage and transport of chemicals is extremely important for staff and clients alike.”

With an increasing number of chemicals being sold in the store, the Brodins built a proper storage shed in 2011.

“People could see from the ground up how the floor was built to comply with specific safety standards, with proper drainage and bunding to safeguard against chemical spills,” said Rose. “We used a local concreter contractor and local helpers to construct the slab.”

The Brodins credit their improved safety over the years to Agsafe facilitator Phil Tucker.

“Phil has assisted us immensely. Having a second set of eyes really helps us see things that we may miss or just take for granted,” said Rob.

“For example, Phil was able to tell us that stock spray had to be kept on a higher shelf than we had it. Graffiti is not a big issue here in the bush, but we still had the spray paint safely stored, and hadn’t considered stock spray to be in the same category.

“The Brodins run a great operation,” said Phil. “I’ve been visiting their store since 2003 and they always have the paperwork completed, all boxes ticked, ready to go when I arrive. It’s fantastic to see a small business be consistent in their effort.”

In addition, the Brodins find value in enrolling in Agsafe training.

“We get a sense of completion and personal satisfaction at attaining further education through Agsafe. Learning new things, or simply revisiting old ideas, is never a bad thing for anybody,” said Rose.

Tottenham Rural Trading is a family affair (from left) Jess Webb, Issie Brodin, Marshall Brodin, Rose Brodin, Levi Brodin and Rob Brodin.

Tottenham Rural Trading is a family affair (from left): Jess Webb, Issie Brodin, Marshall Brodin, Rose Brodin, Levi Brodin and Rob Brodin.