Engineers call for partnership to curb tanker explosions
The Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers (NISE), a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has called on governments at all levels and relevant stakeholders to partner with them to curtail further of such incidence.
The move followed the explosion of a petroleum tanker on the evening of June 28 near the Ojodu Berger Bridge on the Lagos Ibadan Expressway in Lagos, which caused a disaster.
The institution who claims responsibility for safety under the NSE said actions has to be taken by stakeholders to guarantee the security of the general populace especially with respect to the frequent incidents of fires caused by unsafe petroleum tankers in the country.
According to the NISE National Chairman A. B. Oyedepo, they are ready and available to work with all responsible stakeholders who can play a role in eliminating the hazard of petroleum tanker fires and explosions from Nigerian roads by deploying actions on the regulations, design, construction, operations and maintenance of tanker and activities surrounding it.
Oyedepo stated in a release that proper regulation of the design, construction, operations and maintenance of petroleum tankers should be done by sector regulators like the Department of Petroleum (DPR) Vehicle Inspection Authorities, (VIO), Road Safety agencies among others which would also involve the education of petroleum tanker owners, tanker drivers, petroleum tanker construction establishments, consumer advocacy groups and all organisations that use petroleum tankers on the basic standards that are required for petroleum tankers in the country.
He noted that design of petroleum tankers for Nigerian roads should comply with basic standards that will ensure they don’t rupture or explode easily upon impact. The NSE he said has developed safety standards for petroleum tankers that can be used to specify the material suitable for construction to absorb impact upon the event of a collision.
The NISE boss cautioned that construction of tankers should be done by certified builders who use trained welders that comply with welding standards for petroleum tanker construction, as the NISE, through various divisions of the NSE, has basic standards used for the construction of petroleum tankers that include the standards and methods of welding, materials for welding, welding procedures, testing procedures and so on.
“The NISE is ready to provide assistance to any establishment involved in constructing petroleum tankers in understanding and complying with these standards, regardless of whether they are large companies or medium or small-scale enterprises,” he added.
On operation and maintenance, Oyedepo remarked that petroleum tankers should be operated by trained drivers who have knowledge on basic safety standards specifically for petroleum tankers, and maintenance of petroleum tankers should be done by qualified mechanics who comply with basic standards for automobile maintenance.
He said ultimately, more active monitoring of compliance with those standards and the use of incentives to encourage changes in behavior or the imposition of sanctions to discourage undesirable behavior is required.