By Makutu Manneh
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Thursday February 20th February started training Road Tanker drivers and apprentices on health and safety in the downstream petroleum sector.
Companies involved in this sector sent their representatives to attend the program and Officers of the Gambia Police Force (GPF), were invited to enlighten the trainees on how to use roads.
Sompo Ceesay, the Director of Energy and Petroleum at PURA explained to participants that they are regulating the petroleum sector where one of the issues involved is safety, which is everybody’s concern.
“We want to make sure that those who are in the sector are fully trained. That is why we conducted a similar training for pump-attendants from various Petrol Stations. What we notice in the Gambia is that people become drivers and apprentices because a family member is involved in the business. They do not go through the right processes to ensure that they know the dangers of what they are doing,” Ceesay said; that they also want drivers and apprentices to be familiar with guidelines and regulations and to have knowledge of best practices like off-loading and loading petroleum products without exposing themselves to danger.
Ceesay said immediately after the training, PURA will take enforcement actions to inspect all tankers before being allowed on the road; that with this training, drivers should know what is right and should also know the importance of safety; that after being armed with these knowledge, drivers and apprentices can demand from their employers for their trucks to be inspected and be provided with right clothing to prevent danger.
Ismaila Jadama, Petroleum Officer at PURA took the trainees on the basic requirement guidelines for Tanker Trucks and trailers in the Gambia. Jadama informed participants that they must have Transit Vehicles from foreign countries, to be able to do such work effectively.
“These requirements shall be applicable immediately and all vehicles shall fully comply with these minimum standards,” he told them.
He further explained to drivers and apprentices some of the materials, signs and functions that trucks should have such as tail and brake lights, signal lights, reflectors and marker lights.
For the benefit of the readership, a tanker truck or tanker as it is widely known is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquefied loads of petroleum or gas on roads.