General News of Friday, 13 October 2017
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is introducing a new regulation to ensure that a fire personnel is present to supervise the process of offloading Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), at their various dispensing points.
The new regulation is part of the Service’s grand plan to prevent or reduce the incidents of gas explosions especially during the process of offloading the product from tankers to onsite gas storage tanks.
The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Fire Service, Prince Billy Anaglate, in an interview on Eyewitness News on Thursday, said the Service has noted with great concern that most of the explosions occurred at the point of offloading the product.
He decried the low level of safety adherence at some gas stations in the country, noting that having fire officers at the stations during the offloading process will ensure that the maximum fire safety measures are taken off.
“Many of those gas explosions that we have had in previous years and even the recent one that we had, would have been prevented if the workers and people who mattered including attendants strictly adhered to safety measures… We are going to institute certain measures that will force them to strictly adhere to those things.”
“…because we have also realized in our investigations that many of those fires that occurred at the filling station, were as a result of they offloading the gas. We want to ensure that at the time any gas station wants to offload the gas, then a fire personnel should be there. If a fire personnel is there, then I believe we will ensure that the adherence to strict measures would be the situation, and that will prevent any future fire outbreak,” he said.
Mr Anaglate further charged fuel station managers to adhere to the required safety practices to avoid endangering their lives and that of persons living around.
He said the fire service is in the process of clamping down on fuel stations that are operating in breach of the necessary safety requirements.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options, Dr Charles Wereko Brobbey, has said the plan to have fire service personnel supervise offloading of gas is unnecessary and wasteful.
He instead called for strict enforcement of already existing laws in dealing with safety issues in the downstream petroleum sector.