EPA rolls-out mechanisms to reduce LPG hazards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rolled-out educational and sensitisation mechanisms aimed at reducing the hazards associated with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) usage.

The EPA would, therefore, train players in the sector including owners and dealers, station attendants, customers, transporters and other technical partners such as the Ghana National Fire Service, and LPG Marketing Companies Association.

Speaking at the first of the series of training programmes, dubbed: “Environmental Safety and Best Practices,” John Alexis Pwamang, the EPA Acting Executive Director, explained that the Agency sought to raise awareness about the hazards of LPG and the preventive mechanisms available.

He said the training was necessitated due to the series of gas explosions and fire outbreaks the country had suffered in recent times, which had resulted in the loss of lives and property.

He said investigations into these incidents and accidents revealed a number of 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 noted.

Mr Pwamang said all actors including regulators, investors, dealers, attendants and consumers need to work together 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.

The current series is targeted at the pump attendants, which would be replicated in all the 16 regions.

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 LP gas industry to ensure an informed and uniform approach to good safety practice,” 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.