A national petroleum safety campaign to help curb petroleum-related-accidents has been launched by the National Petroleum Authority. The event which was held in Accra on Tuesday was themed ‘People Safety First’.
Speaking at the launch the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority Hassan Tampuli said the national safety campaign is intended to raise awareness of the need to adhere to safety rules when handling petroleum products.
“The campaign is also to educate the public on their role in preventing fires at all petroleum installations and other locations in the country”. Among other things the National Petroleum Safety Campaign is expected to embark on a door-to-door LPG safety programme to educate operators of restaurants, hotels and ‘chop-bars’ in all regions of Ghana.
Reports indicate that about 40% of patients who report to the Plastic Surgery and Burns Center of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital suffered petroleum product-related accidents. Hassan Tampuli revealed that the Authority has constituted a committee to oversee the activities of a task force that will undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of the existing LPG infrastructure in the country. “Authority has constituted a committee to oversee the activities of a task force that will undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of the existing LPG infrastructure in the country.”
The criteria for categorizing the stations into low or high risk will include the following:
- Siting/Location of station: The compatibility of the station with surrounding activities will be physically assessed to inform the ranking of the facility. The station must also meet the required minimum safety distances.
- Engineering Design and Infrastructure: The facility layout and the engineering shall conform to strict standards. Material of construction shall be appropriate and non-combustible with the requisite anti-fire or resistant properties. Facilities without the incorporation of active safety systems shall be closed down to avoid any loss of containment incidents.
- Operations and Management: The assessment will also cover the operations and general management of the facility. All staff within the facility should demonstrate adequate knowledge of handling LPG and the standard operating procedures.
High-risk stations will be closed down while low-risk stations will be designated for the supply of gas for vehicles with improved standards.”
Earlier inspection of facilities
Mr. Tampuli said the NPA in collaboration with other agencies including the Ghana National Fire Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and Factories Inspectorate Department have so far inspected 276 LPG refilling plants in the country out of the 636 distributed across the country.
According to him, 45 of the stations have been closed down due to non-compliance while 37 others have been marked for closure when the level of their stocks reduce to levels within the safety zone.
“Twenty-six (26) outlets have been reopened after comprehensive inspections were carried out by the Inspections and Monitoring unit of the Authority. One Hundred and fourteen outlets (114) were found to be in full compliance with the prescribed safety standards. Out of the 636 registered number of refilling plants, fifty-four (54) is not in operation,” he revealed.
Cylinder Recirculation Model of LPG distribution
Hassan Tampuli noted that the NPA will soon publish the licensing requirements for setting up LPG Bottling Plants as part of efforts to ensure that the cylinder recirculation model of LPG distribution comes into force in one year as directed by Cabinet earlier this month.