Mr Prempeh Adarkwa Yiadom, the Obuasi Area Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has bemoaned the rampant spillage of oil on the floors of fuel stations in the Municipality, which could affect groundwater and cause fire outbreaks.
He has, therefore, charged Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and fuel pump attendants to strictly adhere to the safety guidelines of their operations.
Mr Yiadom made the call at a training workshop organised by the EPA for LPG and fuel pump attendants at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.
Citing the June 3 disaster that hit the country in 2015, he said though the country had made headway in terms of preventing future occurrences, there was still more room for improvement.
“Even though we have made strides in our efforts to prevent future disasters, I think more needs to be done regarding attitude of fuel/gas station operators and the application of environmental laws,” he stated.
Mr Yiadom said investigations into the June 3 disaster concluded that the ensuing fire outbreak during the floods was said to have been caused by a cigarette smoker, who dropped a lighted stub into the water that had oil floating on top.
That, he said, could have been prevented if all the safety protocols were adhered to.
On the rationale behind the workshop, he said the EPA was responsible for protecting and improving the environment, hence the training was to equip the participants with the requisite skills and knowledge on safe handling of petroleum products.
It will also alert them to respond timeously and efficiently to the regulatory requirements of the Agency and how to manage their facilities to prevent accidents.
He said the EPA would continue to monitor the operations of the LPG/Fuel stations to make sure that they applied the knowledge acquired.
Mr Joseph Kobina Yankah, Assistant District Officer 1 in-charge of safety at the Obuasi Command, Ghana National Fire Service, who took participants through Fire safety risk and management, advised them to always put in place measures to prevent fire outbreaks.
He said fuel stations were expected to fix fire extinguishers, fire detecting alarms and dry sand at their operational areas.
Mr Yankah said the Fire Service would continue to intensify monitoring to see whether fire extinguishers, sounders, smoke detectors at the Fuel/ gas stations were available and working.
A participant, Mr Emmanuel Krah, of the Ridge Total Filling Station, lauded the EPA for the workshop, describing it as “an eye-opener.”