The signing of the Safety Declaration Certificate is part of the NPA’s Safety Campaign, which is to raise awareness for the adherence to safety protocols in the petroleum downstream industry.
Signing of the Safety Declaration Certificate by OMCs and LPGMCs is to be done at the start of each year to ensure their continuous commitment to safety.
Mr Alhassan Tampuli, Chief Executive Officer of NPA, in his address, said the safety campaign became necessary due to the frequent petroleum fires that occurred within the industry and the need for all key actors in the petroleum downstream industry to come together to curb it.
Some of the unfortunate accidents that happened in the past, he said, were either unavoidable accidents or negligence on the part of the handlers of the equipment and installations resulting in the loss of lives.
The accidents, Mr Tampuli said, also necessitated the rolling out of intensified inspection and monitoring activities by the authority to ensure health, safety, security and environment standards are strictly adhered to.
“Additionally, the authority will operationalise its Centre of Excellence this year to, among others, provide capacity building for various operators in the industry to enhance their skills and knowledge in the safe handling of petroleum products,” he noted in his speech.
He added that he expects the public to understand the risks and dangers of not using petroleum products safely, and discouraged any unconventional use of the products without seeking expert advice.
“We, therefore, urge the general public to adhere to the safety precautions being propagated. Please note that safety is a shared responsibility,” Mr Tampuli advised.
He hoped that each participant would remain committed to the task of working hard to ensure petroleum safety becomes the tie that binds our collective interest for a safer, secure and explosion-free sector.
Mr Joseph Cudjoe, Deputy Minister of Energy, said operating at the very end of the petroleum value chain, proximity to human populations, their health and safety, and, consequently, their property and the requirements for improved safety standards place on all industry players the duty to be more responsible.
He said it was, therefore, important for industry players to take the bold step of adhering to industry safety standards through industry associations and peer review, and where necessary expose their peers who were not keeping up with the industry standards.
For his part, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Oil Marketing Companies, said the association, since the incidents, has been putting measures in place to mitigate the safety situations it were faced with, in addition to upgrading their working standards.
He added that they have realised that safety was business, and there was a need for a strong mechanism to investigate all industry disasters. He pledged their commitment to ensure safety among its members.
In 2017, the authority launched the National Petroleum Safety Campaign under the theme ‘People Safety First’, to raise awareness on safety operations in the petroleum downstream industry. The campaign was a response to the frequent petroleum fires that were occurring within the industry and the need for all key actors in the petroleum downstream industry to come together to curb it.
One of the key activities of the National Petroleum Safety Campaign is the signing of the Safety Declaration Placard by chief executives of Oil Marketing Companies at the start of each year as a demonstration of their commitment to operate safely throughout the year.