Explosion at Apiete must awake our national consciousness on safety

By James McKeown, Helsinki- Finland
Article Explosion at Apiete must awake our national consciousness on safety
JAN 21, 2022 LISTEN

Maxam Ghana Limited, the Company involved in the detonation of explosives leading to fatalities and destruction of an entire community on the Bogoso-Bawdie road, was warned by the government in 2017 and given an ultimatum to follow the necessary protocols in their handling, storage and transportation of explosives to mining sites.

According to the Minerals and Mining Regulations (Explosives) 2012 (L. I. 2177), which regulates the transportation of explosives for mining operations, the following protocols were required to be followed by Maxam Ghana Limited in transporting the explosives.

  1. The explosives must be transported in an authorized vehicle as approved by the Chief Inspector of Mines;
  2. The vehicle must have a police escort at all times;
  3. The vehicle must have a certified Blastman

The following questions need immediate answers

  1. Did Maxam, the Company transporting the explosives, follow the protocols as specified above?
  2. Has the Company been following the safety rules in the recent past?
  3. How did the ministries, departments and agencies responsible for the Company's operation ensure that they meet the safety standards after the 2017 warning?
  4. Whose duty is it to ensure that the proper safety protocols are followed at all times?
  5. Was the incident a pure accident though the safety measures were followed?
  6. Why do many Ghanaians have the penchant for rushing to observe accident scenes even if they have no business of being there?
  7. What lessons have we learned from gas explosions and other explosions in the past?
  8. Whose duty is it to educate the Ghanaian populace about safety protocols at accident scenes, offices, homes and general surroundings?
  9. Will we handle this incident with the same attitude, just as we did in the past?

There are more questions than answers. If this incident does not awaken our national consciousness about safety in our environments and operations of businesses, nothing will.

My thoughts are with the community.

James McKeown, Helsinki- Finland

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