The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) has launched the 6th AOMC Safety Week Celebrations to educate and remind downstream petroleum industry players, the importance to maintain and upscale safety precautions at their operational stations.
The week is also aimed at re-enforcing the Oil Marketing Companies' obligation to human safety at their operational areas and filling stations.
It is to remind them not to engage in any work that would jeopardize the lives of their customers, and property.
Speaking at the AOMC Annual Safety Week (ASWEC), Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMC Industry Coordinator, stressed that within the downstream petroleum sector mistakes were not to be tolerated as just one mistake meant loss of lives, property or disability and even more specifically, revocation of operating licenses.
This informed the relevance of this year's theme: "Your First Mistake could be Your Last, which sought to serve as a reminder to players in the industry that contrary to the widely accepted norm of encouraging mistakes as a part of learning procedure, in some instances, "our lives could depend on the very first one. We must not confuse poor decision-making with unintentional mistakes."
Mr Agyeman-Duah noted that sadly, many on-the-job injuries were not accidental - they were causedadding, "it is possible to address the causes and prevent suffering"
He said fortunately, in a growing number of oil marketing companies, workers, employers, and regulators were demonstrating through cooperation and dialogue, the possibility to create safer, healthier workplaces, resulting in a high level of compliance with industry standards.
He emphasized that guidelines would not make much difference unless workers themselves were able to express themselves on issues and make proposals based on their own experiences.
He said as part of the celebration the association would organize important activities around specialized training for OMC member companies to get acquainted with latest trends in efficient health and safety compliance.
"This will ensure that our consumers can transact business at our stations safely and without what ifsLet us pledge to continue to make Safety a priority in our livesLet us take responsibility for our safety and that of those around usBy doing so, we can ensure that we live in a safe and secure world,he said.
Mr Herbert Krapa, Deputy Minister for Energy who launched the event noted that the Government had been working with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA)and other stakeholders to use regulations and educationto reduce
accidents in downstream sector.
He said the NPA had increased the frequency of inspections and tightened its inspections regime, while Safety Operational Guidelines had been issued and were being enforced, and Bulk Road Vehicles drivers were now trained and certified by the Driver Vehicle License Authority.
He said currently one needed a special license to drive a vehicle carrying hydrocarbons, while a Cylinder Recirculation Model was being introduced to replace the old method of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Distribution, all as part of the broad measures to end safety within the downstream sector.
Mr Krapa also noted that OMCs were required to conduct daily safety checks, while the AOMC bore the ultimate obligation of increasing safety trainings for members.
"We also now have a Multi Stakeholder Committee of all agencies involved in issuing permits to filling stations: NPA, EPA, Fire Service and LUSPA (the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority," he said.