AOMC launches 2023 Safety Week

  Wed, 31 May 2023
Business & Finance AOMC launches 2023 Safety Week

The 2023 Association of Oil Marketing Companies Safety Week Celebrations have been launched to provide a platform to educate and remind downstream petroleum industry players of the paramount need to maintain and upscale safety precautions at their operational stations.

The 6th Association of Oil Marketing Companies' Annual Safety Week (ASWEC) is on the general theme "Your first mistake could be your last," which seeks 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 procedures, in some instances, lives could depend on the very first one.

Mr. Herbert Krapa, Deputy Minister for Energy, who launched the event which was monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult), noted that the government has been working with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to use regulations and education to reduce accidents in the downstream sector.

He said the NPA has increased the frequency of inspections and tightened its inspection regime; Safety Operational Guidelines have been issued and are being enforced; and Bulk Road Vehicles (BRV) drivers are now trained and certified by the Driver Vehicle Licence Authority.

He said current drivers need a special licence to drive a vehicle carrying hydrocarbons, while a Cylinder Recirculation Model is being introduced to replace the old method of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution, all as part of the broad measures to ensure safety within the downstream sector.

Mr. Krapa also noted that OMCs are required to conduct daily safety checks, and AOMC bear the ultimate obligation of increasing safety training for their 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.

The week is also aimed at re-enforcing that Oil Marketing Companies are conscious of human safety at their operational areas and filling stations and would therefore not engage in any work that would jeopardize the lives of their customers or property, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMC Industry Coordinator, stressed.

He noted that within the downstream petroleum sector, mistakes are not to be tolerated, as that one last mistake could mean the loss of lives, property, or disability, and even more specifically, the revocation of operating licences.

This informed the relevance of this year’s theme, "We must not confuse poor decision-making with unintentional mistakes.

Mr. Agyeman-Duah noted that sadly, many on-the-job injuries aren't accidental; they are caused. "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 are demonstrating through cooperation and dialogue that it is possible to create safer, healthier workplaces, which has resulted in a high level of compliance with industry standards.

The AOMC Industry Coordinator stressed that guidelines won't make much difference unless workers themselves are able to express themselves on issues and make proposals based on their own experiences.

There is a popular Ghanaian adage that says, "When you see the beard of your neighbour on fire, you must prepare water beside yours". This can be best explained by the statement: "Really smart businessmen learn best from the mistakes of others, not their own, he said.

He said that as part of the celebration, the association will organize important activities in the area of specialized training for OMC member companies to get acquainted with the latest trends in efficient health and safety compliance.

"This is in effort so our consumers can transact business at our stations safely and without what-ifs. Let us pledge to continue to make safety a priority in our lives. Let us take responsibility for our own safety and that of those around us. By doing so, we can ensure that we live in a safe and secure world," he said.

-CDA Consult || Contributor

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