The Chairman of the Board of Governors of Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs),Mr Henry Akwaboah, has urged oil marketing companies in the country to consistently enforce safety protocols at workplaces.
According to him, achieving incident-free operations within the industry, offices and retail outlets is a collective responsibility that requires all hands on deck.
Speaking at the launch of 2021 AOMCs Safety Week Celebration in Accra-GIMPA on Monday, 7 June 2021, Mr Akwaboah said: "The theme for this year's celebration is a reminder to all of us that achieving incident-free operations at workplaces requires the involvement of all persons in the organization from the Chief Executive Officer to the lower rank under the chain of command. Particularly, leaders of organisations need to demonstrate unwavering personal attitude to inculcate such character in employees".
In view of the above, CEO of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Duah says the outcome of deliberations of the week-long safety celebration will be compiled to enhance learning lessons for industry players to intensify public education solely to improve operations in the sector.
Contributing to the debate, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, said the EPA will strictly hold state institutions and industry players to account making sure that culprits who fall foul of the law are dragged before a court.
According to him, "attitudinal change is crucial to transforming the sector. If we don't change our attitudes, it will be difficult to get to where we want to get to".
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) James Oppong Boanu in a speech read on his behalf by ACP Kwasi Arhin said his office will clamp down on armed robbers attacks on retail outlets. According to him, the police will not ignore its lawful mandate.
"We are committed to our constitutional mandate of protecting property. Let me say that criminals who attack your retail outlets are operating as a network with some of your employees. Check the backgrounds of people before you employ them. Consult National Fire Service to train your personnel in order to overcome occupational hazards".
Meanwhile, CEO of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors Senyo Hosi has called for strict enforcement of laws to ensure safety in the industry. According to him, persons who fail to comply with standards protocols must be exposed, arrested, and prosecuted to deter others from wrongdoing.
For his part, CEO of Consumer Protection Agency Kofi Kapito was of the view that the only standard in the oil marketing sector is to ensure compliance in accordance with the law.
"The basic thing to do is to make sure our laws are obeyed. It's basic. I don't expect regulators to give me excuses when I report a matter to them".
Chief Executive of Private Enterprise Federation Nana Osei Bonsu wants those who smoke at gas stations checked because sometimes they have no clue what collateral damage it will trigger.
Director-General of Ghana Standards Authority Prof. Alex Dodoo charged oil marketing companies to employ health safety officers at retail outlets to improve standards. According to him, transparency, education, accountability and certification are crucial in ensuring safety standards in the oil marketing sector. He entreated oil marketing companies to comply with ISO: 45001 standards.
The 2021 Safety Week Celebration by AOMCs is on the theme "Reinforcing positive behaviour at the workplace to achieve the greatest participation of safety in this era of Covid-19 pandemic".
The week-long celebration is expected to assemble experts within the oil marketing industry, regulators including officials from the National Petroleum Authority, Energy Ministry, Police, National Security Ministry, National Fire Service to brainstorm and devise ways to improve safety in the industry.