About 100 stakeholders in the fuel retail sector in the Ahafo Region on Monday benefited from a day’s capacity building on health and safety precautionary measures at Goaso, the regional capital.
They included fuel filling station owners, general managers and pump attendants and a section of the public.
It was organised by the Environmental Protection Agency with participants taken through topics such as Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) at the fuel filling stations, safety symbols, hazards and accidents, risk management and effective customer – worker relationship.
The Ahafo Regional Director of EPA, Dr Jackson Adiyiah Nyantakyi, in a presentation said human retailers were exposed to all sorts of risks, which resulted in loss of human lives and properties, thus the need for the training workshop.
He noted that hazards at fuel retail points included fuelling a car while the engine was on, smoking around a tank farm, making phone calls and charging of electronic gadgets around dispensers, leaked tank and naked electric wire.
Dr Nyantakyi stated that fuel station business had become lucrative as prices of oil kept increasing but the rising number of explosions at filling stations in the country posed a serious concern to residents.
“The June 3, 2015 Accra explosion which killed about 154 people still lingers in the minds of Ghanaians. There is the need to be constantly watchful and careful. Safety protocols must be strictly observed,” he added.
The regional director indicated that risk activities at fuel stations resulted in fire outbreaks, air, surface water and land pollutions, flooding, loss of human lives and robbery incidence among others.
He entreated owners of fuel filling stations to ensure the strict enforcement of the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), prevention of rodents and noise pollution at the station and proper waste management.
Dr Nyantakyi stressed that “you must stick to the colour code, where red represent gasoline, green stands for high octane gasoline, light -blue for kerosene, black for Ago and yellow for high octane Ago, in order to prevent accidents”.
He urged the executives of the Ahafo Fuel Retailers Association (AFRA) to intensify sensitisation and awareness creation, strengthen supervision, recruit strong people and ensure safety protocols at the fuel stations.
The regional director warned that the licence of fuel stations who breached health and safety measures at their premises, would not be renewed coupled with other punishment saying that “prevention is always better than cure.”
Mr Stephen Boateng, the Chairman of AFRA, on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the EPA for their routine inspection and training workshop, adding that “we will strictly adhere to all health and safety measures at our stations.”
FROM EMMANUEL ADU GYAMFI, GOASO