The Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CEO), Senyo Hosi has proposed the passage of legislation to enforce the display of safety compliance ratings at all petroleum filling stations in the country.
This, he says, will help ensure public safety and minimize accidents such as the one which occurred on June 3, 2015, at the Goil filling station in Accra.
Mr Hosi was speaking at the launch of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies’ Annual Safety Week Celebration (ASWEC) in Accra.
“As a customer will it be great or viable for me to just get to a station, possibly just see these particular ratings and [know] that these are the standards that have been set by the [Association of Oil Marketing Companies] together with the National Petroleum Authority?” Mr. Hosi quizzed.
“There’s a reason why the GOIL station in Circle which was flooded was part of the June 3 disaster [but] the Shell one, opposite, never had that particular problem,” Mr Hosi said.
He said while GOIL is one of the most safety compliant companies in Ghana, that particular station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle was not compliant enough and the failure to comply with contributed to the accident in which 150 people were killed and several others were injured, many of them scarred and deformed for life.
He expressed disappointment in the fact that no person or entity had been held accountable for fatal incidents occurring in the downstream petroleum industry, some of which have additionally caused immense damage and trauma.
Mr. Hosi said displaying compliance ratings at filling stations will not only help reduce the spate of safety incidents but will also allow the public to know who to hold accountable when their safety is compromised.
“And when people are dropping in their ratings, clearly as consumers people can take certain actions that will hold them accountable,” he said.
Mr. Hosi suggested that transparency, enforcement and accountability will ensure that everyone in the petroleum value chain is educated on the right steps to take to ensure such disasters become a thing of the past, and that when disaster strikes the right people will be held accountable.
“You can be sure of the CBOD’s partnership in trying to deliver that,” he said. “We can’t have a safe industry unless we ensure transparency, we ensure proper education and more importantly accountability.”
ASWEC was institutionalised in 2017 with the cardinal objective of educating members of the AOMCs as well as the public on health, safety, and environment related issues within the downstream petroleum industry.
The 2021 edition was organised under the theme: “Reinforcing Positive Behaviour at the Workplace to Achieve the Greatest Participation of Safety in this Era of Covid-19 Pandemic”.
ASWEC 2021 was chaired by the Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo, who called on Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) to strive to adhere to ISO 45001, the international standard for occupational health and safety, issued to protect employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases.