The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has officially launched its National Petroleum Safety Campaign to raise awareness on adherence to safety protocols in the petroleum downstream sector, under the theme ‘People Safety First’.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive of the NPA Alhassan Tampuli said since April this year, the authority has embarked on activities as part of measures to achieve the campaign’s objectives, which include educating the public on their role in preventing fires at all petroleum installations in the country.
He said: “These activities include a breakfast meeting with CEOs of Oil Marketing Companies and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) marketing companies to brief them on the objectives and goals of the safety campaign”.
He added that the NPA has also held safety workshops for transporters and Bulk Road Vehicle (BRVs) drivers to raise their awareness on the need to operate safely.
He further explained that the authority held workshops for the media in the Greater Accra, Western, Northern, Ashanti and Volta Regions as part of the campaign.
In the area of public education, Alhassan Tampuli stated that the media is being used as a channel to publicise the campaign and ensure that individuals and households are not left out.
“There is public education being undertaken through the media, such as the telecast of LPG Safety audio-visual animation on various television networks, and broadcast of same on radio and publication of safety tips in various newspapers,” he said.
He was optimistic that with the door-to-door LPG safety programme, all operators of restaurants, hotels and “chop-bars” will also be briefed and sensitised toward the safe use of petroleum products.
In a speech read on his behalf, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said safety compliance is a major issue of concern to government, and therefore commended the NPA for its initiative.
“The issue of safety in the use of petroleum products has been high on the agenda of government, which has culminated in the introduction of the Cylinder Recirculation Model,” he said.
“One can say that most petroleum-related accidents occur as a result of lacking adequate awareness of the risks in handling and using these products.”
The issue of safety, he appealed, should be seen as a collective responsibility and not solely the job of the NPA.
Chief Executive of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Mr. Kweku Agyemang Duah, said it is a good sign that government has recognised safety as key to the industry, and assured the NPA of their support for the campaign.
“We don’t want this to be a one-time thing. What we want, as an industry, is to move forward to make safety a way of life,” he said.
He added that the Association of Oil Marketing Companies has also taken steps to ensure that its members are fully compliant with safety regulations and protocols, and aims to raise the bar in this regard.
“We, as an industry, in May had a Safety Week, and we continue to have peer-review with our members. We want to have a standard in the industry that will become over and above what the regulator asks us to do. This means that regulatory standards will become the minimum for the industry,” he explained.
The NPA, following the recent Atomic Junction explosion which resulted in the death of 7 people and injured 132 others, has instituted stringent measures to ensure that the issue of safety is brought to the fore as far as handling petroleum products are concerned.
The launch of the campaign was climaxed with the symbolic signing of a pledge by reps of OMCs, LPGMCs and CEO of the NPA, committing to ensure safety compliance in the handling of LPG and Petroleum products.
By: Kennedy Aryeetey Tetteh | thebftonline.com | Ghana