Causes of fire due to unprofessional staff – EPA

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has attributed causes of fire outbreaks at the various fuel stations to the quality of personnel employed to manage the facilities, as well as negligence.

According to them, dealing with petroleum products requires specific expertise, but owners do not train or equip their staff with the requisite and adequate knowledge to operate these facilities.
This was made known in a speech read on behalf of the CEO of EPA at the launch of Petroleum Week celebration by the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) in Accra on Monday.
This year’s celebration is the second in session and is themed ‘Petroleum Safety, Prepare and Prevent’.
A deputy director at EPA, Cindy Baidoo said to prevent this, the EPA has engaged the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and other stakeholder such as the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) to train staff of filling stations on safety precautions. 
She said the training programme would lead to certification of personnel that would work in the sector and would also develop the competencies and skills of the people who work or man these facilities.
She said EPA would not compromise on public safety, but work closely with all stakeholders to ensure safety. 
Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of petroleum, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, who commended AOMCs on their efforts to ensure safety at their stations, said government would soon roll out a safety audit at large-scale facilities. 
He explained that facilities like Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Atuabo would all undergo the safety audit, adding that “you cannot have safety precautions at distribution ends without doing same at the source”.
He also urged members of the AOMCs to adopt higher standards that would tend to lead the way for their regulators and government to follow.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA, Alhassan Tampuli added that NPA has licensed 109 OMCs and 42 LPG marketing companies that market and sell petroleum products to consumers.
He said the authority would embark on door-to-door campaign on LPG safety and also engage various stakeholders on the new national LPG policy, to curb the terrible incidents that occur.
CEO of AOMC, Kwaku Agyemang Dua mentioned that the second safety week celebration also coincides with the 15th anniversary of the AOMC, and as an association, they have a vision to be a distinguished and highly respected association that seeks to enhance the petroleum sector by adding value to its stakeholders.
He said as part of activities to celebrate the week, they have set up a skill development fund to train members and also have safety exhibitions, as well as have Muslim and Christian prayers.

By Kenneth O. ADADE, Accra

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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