The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made known its intentions to soon close down Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stations without trained and certified attendants.
In a speech read on behalf of the Executive Director of the EPA, Mr Henry Kokofu at the opening of a three-day training programme for managers, supervisors and pump attendants of LPG companies in the Eastern Region at Koforidua, he revealed that, the EPA, would renew the environmental permits of LPG stations based on the evidence of training of the staff of the company.
According to Mr. Kokofu, between 2007 and 2015 accidents involving activities at gas refilling stations recorded were 19 which saw 96 people dying with 486 people getting injured.
Mr Kokofu said, investigations into the incidents indicated that, all the cases that happened, were due to human errors and that in many instances, players in the LPG value chain had no training in the safe handling of LPG.
He noted that, it was in the light of such development that, the EPA and other stakeholders decided to initiate the training to protect public safety and investment in the industry.
Mr Evans Opare, Senior Factories Inspector at the Department of Factories Inspectorate also called on LPG companies to put in place safety management plans and to also comply with plans to reduce the risk in their operations.
He further urged the companies to set standards for their operations, conduct risk assessment and adopt measures to reduce the risks in their activities.
Mr Opare then lamented that, many owners of LPG companies felt that it was expensive to comply with safety regulations, adding that it was rather costly to respond to emergencies and as a result one could lose investment and human lives.
Mr Joseph Koranteng, Eastern Regional Deputy Commander of the Fire Service, also speaking at the training, advised LPG companies to place the fire extinguishers on their facilities at strategic places where they could reach them quickly in emergencies.
He advised the companies against placing the fire extinguishers near the gas pump because, in case of a fire outbreak at the pump, it would be difficult to get access to them.
Mr Koranteng said, the Fire Service was ready to offer services to gas companies on request to help train their personnel in fire safety and the assessment of their fire safety equipment.
Mr Felix Offei of Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, also advised owners of LPG stations to properly document their land and seek the necessary documentation from the relevant authorities.
The Eastern Regional Director of EPA, Mr Felix Addo-Okyere said the region had not recorded any major gas explosion adding that it was however necessary to enhance the knowledge of workers in the petroleum value chain in the region.
The training programme for managers, supervisors and pump attendants of LPG companies, which started last year, is aimed at training LPG station pump attendants and managers on safety and best international practices in the handling of LPG.
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