The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Sunday said it field officers have moved to the regions to scale-up training of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Pump Attendants, and other stakeholders as part of the broader measures for licensing.
Mr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, EPA Executive Director noted that the regional training which has so far covered Greater Accra, Ashanti, Bono, and Ahafo, Western, forms part of the general process to inject professionalism into the sector.
The team is moving camp to the Eastern, Volta, Oti, Central, Western North, Bono East, Northern, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, and North East Regions to train, LPG Dealers, Managers, Supervisors, Marketers, Pump Attendants, and other stakeholders.
The EPA Executive Director, therefore, called on dealers and operators of LPG to ensure that they contact the regional offices of the EPA to register and participate in the training.
Mr Kokofu noted: "As regulators, it is our mandate to work towards reducing accidents connected with gas usage, we noticed a gap in the professional understanding of the product and qualification of people handling the product therefore we have embarked on the process of training and licensing all LPG Pump Attendants.
The training forms part of the general requirements for the licensing regime which would ensure that people who are not trained cannot operate as LPG Pump Attendants when the regulations come into force.
Mr Kokofu told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, that LPG Attendants must go through "Environmental Safety and Best Practices Training (ESBPT)" to qualify to work at LPG Facility.
The ESBPT syllabus is divided into phases, which involve theoretical classroom and practical field training, leading to the award of an initial certificate of participation, after which the attendants would be monitored for adherence to best practices.
He said the Attendants would again go through another theoretical classroom and practical field training at the end of which he or she would be licensed to operate as a Certified Professional LPG Pump Attendants.
The EPA Executive Director explained that whatever the size of an LPG, any breach in safety incident whether due to equipment failure or external threats has the potential to cause injury and or property damage not only to people working within these facilities but also to the population of the surrounding communities.
He said it is therefore important for all stakeholders in the industry to manage and reduce the risks associated with operating an LPG facility to as low as reasonably practicable.
Mr Kokofu said this can be achieved with the enforcement of standards, adherence to safety operations, comprehensive and rigorous maintenance programmes combined with effective staff training programmes.
Mr William Kwaku Hayfron-Acquah, EPA Acting Director Field Operations who is leading the team of experts for the training explained that LPG is a clean, modern fuel that brings comfort to tens of millions of consumers worldwide.
He said, however, as, with any fuel, safety in operations and handling is imperative for consumers and the industry. "The effects of safety incidents do not necessarily stop at the factory gate but can impact people, property, and the environment outside the enterprise, sometimes at considerable distances.
Mr Hayfron-Acquah said in addition to the human cost and material damage, the reputation of the industry can be significantly impaired if safety is not managed appropriately.
He said the training which seeks to inject professionalism into the industry also aims to inform the principal stakeholders in the LPG industry of the hazards at different stages of the distribution chain as well as recommended good safety practices to minimize the associated risks.
He said: "Prevention is better than cure and effective safety promotion starts by getting things right within the production facilities, storage depot, bottling plant or transport system".
Mr Hayfron-Acquah called on stakeholders in the industry to support EPA as the measures also seek to protect investment in the industry.