The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) has launched its highly anticipated 6th AOMC Safety Week Celebrations, aiming to educate and reinforce the importance of maintaining and enhancing safety precautions in operational stations within the downstream petroleum industry.
The event seeks to serve as a reminder to industry players about their obligation to prioritize human safety at their operational areas and filling stations, emphasizing the need to avoid any work that could endanger the lives of customers and property.
Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMC Industry Coordinator, emphasized that mistakes within the downstream petroleum sector cannot be tolerated, as a single mistake could lead to loss of lives, property, disability, and even the revocation of operating licenses.
This underpins the significance of this year’s theme: “Your First Mistake Could be Your Last,” which aims to highlight that in certain situations, our lives could depend on the very first mistake made. It is crucial not to confuse poor decision-making with unintentional mistakes.
Mr Agyemang-Duah pointed out that many on-the-job injuries are not accidental but caused, and he stressed the importance of addressing the root causes to prevent suffering.
He expressed gratitude that an increasing number of oil marketing companies are demonstrating cooperation and dialogue among workers, employers, and regulators, resulting in safer and healthier workplaces and a high level of compliance with industry standards.
He emphasized that guidelines alone will not bring about significant change unless workers themselves can voice their concerns and make proposals based on their own experiences.
As part of the Safety Week celebrations, the association will organize various activities focused on specialized training for OMC member companies to familiarize them with the latest trends in efficient health and safety compliance.
Mr Herbert Krapa, Deputy Minister for Energy, who inaugurated the event, highlighted the government’s collaboration with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to reduce accidents in the downstream sector through regulations and education.
The NPA has increased the frequency and rigour of inspections, enforced Safety Operational Guidelines, and ensured that drivers of Bulk Road Vehicles are trained and certified by the Driver Vehicle License Authority.
He mentioned that a special license is now required to drive vehicles carrying hydrocarbons, and a Cylinder Recirculation Model is being introduced to replace the old method of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Distribution.
These measures are part of broader efforts to ensure safety within the downstream sector.
Mr Krapa also acknowledged that OMCs are responsible for conducting daily safety checks, while the AOMC bears the ultimate responsibility for increasing safety training for its members.
Furthermore, he highlighted the establishment of a Multi-Stakeholder Committee consisting of agencies involved in issuing permits to filling stations, including the NPA, EPA, Fire Service, and LUSPA (the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority).