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Spontaneity key to store’s success

Safety, presentation and a passion for emergency drills has helped a rural merchandise store in Margaret River take out this month’s Agsafe Achievers Award.

Landmark Southern Ag in WA was awarded the national prize for staff commitment to safety and compliance in handling, storing and giving advice on agvet chemical products.

Store Manager Kenneth Wrigglesworth said selling chemicals is a big part of his merchandise business and making sure his staff are prepared to deal with the risks is very important.

“We’re dealing with heavy containers full of toxic products,” he said. “If you’re not 100 per cent switched on at all times there can be an issue.”

(L-R) Ken Wrigglesworth(Principal), Michael Russell (Merchandise Sales),Chris Carlsen (Merchandise Manager), Kaye Norrish(Admin Manager)

Mr Wrigglesworth said he often ran spontaneous safety drills to keep his staff on their toes.

“If a drum falls off a truck, my staff wouldn’t have planned for it and they’re going to have to act spontaneously,” he said.

“I ask them ‘if that 20 litre spray-seed spilled: what would you do?’ and see what they do. It’s a great procedure, the drills keep them guessing.”

For the last eight years the store has serviced the viticulture and horticulture industries in the region, operating as a Landmark branch before Mr Wrigglesworth took on a partnership with them late last year.

He said Agsafe Facilitator Bevan Henderson is a big help in getting the right safety advice on chemical storage and handling for the premises.

“Your duty of care at the end of the day is for your customers and staff – making sure staff go home the way they turned up for work,” he said.

“All our full time employees, who are involved with chemical merchandise, are Agsafe accredited. Even our administration office lady is accredited.”

Mr Henderson said Mr Wrigglesworth was meticulous with his safety compliance and always made sure his staff were fully trained before a premises accreditation.

“They deserve the recognition,” he said. “Ken, along with the staff, is diligent and precise. Their store’s presentation is second to none.”

Southern Ag was also awarded Agsafe Advanced status after an almost flawless re-accreditation assessment last year.

Agsafe Advanced is the highest level of compliance for businesses who achieve compliance within 21 days after a premises accreditation.  Their accreditation coverage is also extended to four years instead of two.

Mr Wrigglesworth said it is something they’re very proud of.

“That was something we were trying to achieve. It is good from a business point-of-view because we’ve got long term accreditation,” he said.

“I like the idea of a four year accreditation cycle, especially when you put a lot of work into being compliant: it is a handy reward.”