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General News of Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Source: GNA

EPA injects professionalism into LPG operations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rolled out a nationwide educational and sensitisation mechanisms aimed at injecting professionalism into operations of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector and reduce the associated risk.

Mr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the EPA Executive Director explained that the training would cover stakeholders within the industry including owners and dealers, station attendants, customers, transporters, and other technical partners including LPG Marketing Companies’ Association.

Speaking at the third regional training covering Bono and Ahafo at Sunyani, Mr. Kokofu explained the programme, dubbed: “Environmental Safety and Best Practices” was necessitated due to the series of gas explosions and fire outbreaks the country had suffered and which had resulted in the loss of lives and properties.

The EPA Executive Director’s speech was read on his behalf by Mr. William Kwaku Hayfron-Acquah, Acting Director in Charge of Field Operations.

Topics being discussed include EPA regulations, characteristics of good workplace ethics, supervisor behaviours that produce a thriving safety culture - a checklist to audit the performance of each of your supervisors.

Others are effective customer service, product knowledge, LPG level indicator, LPG product accounting, fire safety education, and safe handling of products.

Mr. Kokofu said investigations into incidents and accidents of explosion revealed several causes, the most critical and common being the lack of requisite knowledge and skills by most of the workers along the supply chain.

“It is as a result of these revelations that the regulatory institutions decided to organise a training programme to train and certify all the operators to ensure that LPG risk is reduced to the minimal level in the country,” he stressed.

He said all actors including regulators, investors, dealers, attendants, and consumers have a role to play individually and collectively to reduce the hazards associated with the usage of LPG.

“We have LPG around us in our homes, cars, workplaces, and restaurants among others. We, therefore, need to understand its proper usage”.

“As a major player in charge of environmental protection we have identified education as a missing link, therefore we want to build the capacity of station attendants who play a critical interface in the whole operations of selling LPG to end-users.”

“We believe that if the actors understand the products they are dealing with, such knowledge will help reduce the human factors, being errors which most often lead to fire outbreaks”.

He called on the LPG Marketing Companies Association and other stakeholders to ensure their attendants participated in the training as well as dealers and owners to help protect their investments.

Mr. Samuel K. Otu Larbi, the Managing Director, Solution Solve Limited, the lead resource person, said to manage the hazards associated with LPG, one must first understand the product and with the application of all the controls and safety procedures.

“Managing safety is knowledge-based and procedures should be revised periodically. Also, incidents and accidents are sources of case studies and very instructive, which should be shared for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he said.

“The national and local authorities should take advantage of the expertise within the LPG industry to ensure an informed and uniform approach to good safety practices”, he said.

Mr. Larbi said controlling risks guaranteed public health and safety and safeguarded property and the environment, stressing that the “danger is always present, only the risk is reduced by behaviour.”

He called on all stakeholders to play their roles in the safe handling of gas.

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