Work to achieve zero accidents - NPA boss advises industry

BY: Della Russel Ocloo
Mr Bartholomew Darko (2nd right), MD of the TTF, conducting Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid (2nd left), CEO of the NPA, and his team round the Tank Farm during the event. Picturre: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO
Mr Bartholomew Darko (2nd right), MD of the TTF, conducting Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid (2nd left), CEO of the NPA, and his team round the Tank Farm during the event. Picturre: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has urged companies operating in the petroleum downstream industry to work at achieving zero accidents.

He said zero accidents would enhance the safety culture in the downstream petroleum industry and significantly contribute to a reduction in their operational cost.

 He was speaking at a ceremony in Tema yesterday where a bulk petroleum distribution company, the Tema Tank Farm (TTF), celebrated 1,000 days without a lost time accident.

That accomplishment, according to the management of the company, spoke volumes about the safety culture of holding everyone accountable for personal safety and reviewing existing safety programmes to ensure operational efficiencies.

The celebration was on the theme: “Advancing a Culture of Excellent Health and Safety Standards in the Petroleum Industry: A Key to the Sustainable Development of the Ghanaian Economy”.

Safety Week

Dr Abdul-Hamid said accidents involving fuel facilities and tankers could lead to loss of lives and properties and also leave victims with injuries and psychological imbalances. 

Therefore, he said, the safety week concept put in place by the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC), with the objective of educating all on safety matters in the petroleum downstream industry, ought to be sustained to ensure an accident free industry.

The NPA boss said the authority was proud to be associated with the TTF's accomplishment of 1,000 days without lost time injuries.

"My checks with my Inspections and Monitoring Department indicate that the TTF depot is very compliant with the safety standards prescribed for the sector and it  is, therefore, not surprising that it is celebrating this safety milestone," he said.

He urged the company to keep up the high standard and not compromise on safety at any time.

Engine of growth

The petroleum industry, Dr Abdul-Hamid said, was the engine of growth of the economy and so it was imperative that “we strive to carry out our operations in an efficient and safe manner to achieve sustainable development of the Ghanaian economy”.

He said fuel storage depots played a very important role in the distribution of petroleum products in the country, hence the NPA's resolve to continue to improve safety standards, in line with international best practices, and ensure that all operators strictly adhere to such.

"We need to operate safely as an industry to regain the confidence of the public in our operations, considering how apprehensive members of the public often are about the siting of fuel related facilities within their communities because of the fear of accidents," he said.

Safety culture

In his remarks, the Managing Director of the TTF, Mr Bartholomew Darko, stressed the need for employers to advance the culture of excellence in health and safety at workplaces.

He said all accidents were preventable and so the company had built a safety culture where workers were taken through weekly sensitisation programmes, including safety drills and simulations, to ensure that workers, clients and visitors became conscious about health and safety.

He said the TTF, in compliance with environmental standards, had, over the last nine years, planted and nurtured trees in its operational areas as its contribution to the preservation of the environment, including reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere.