A National Petroleum fuel truck.

The Trinidad & Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company Limited (NP) has denied claims that the braking systems on their fuel trucks are faulty.

“As a responsible state-affiliated enterprise, NP takes very seriously the safe and efficient execution of its responsibility to distribute fuel and places great emphasis on maintaining best practice safety protocols,” NP stated in a release.

NP’s statement was in response to a press conference held by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) earlier this week in which it was alleged that that NP fuel trucks could pose a hazard to public safety due to a lack of emergency brakes to supplement their normal brakes.

“As it relates to the alleged faulty braking system on the RTW (Road Tank Wagons) units, the Company wishes to assure the public that the operation of the RTWs does not in any way pose an unnecessary safety risk to the lives of the workers or the public at large,” it stated.

NP said it categorically denies that there is any condition on the RTW Fleet brakes that amounts to a breach of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

“The tractors are equipped with four (4) main braking systems, in which the service brake performs the primary function of stopping the vehicle when the footbrake is depressed. The secondary brake system comes into effect in the event of failure of the service brake and is a failsafe system that is activated when the air pressure is insufficient in the unit. The four main braking systems which the RTW units possess is sufficient to ensure that the vehicle is able to adequately brake when/as required,” NP stated.

“Notwithstanding the foregoing, NP Management can confirm that as a further measure of safety and to provide that added assurance, the Company commenced the process of installing a circuit on the already inspected and fully functional RTW units on 21st September 2020, with the process being completed on 22nd September 2020, in the interests of ensuring the continuity of fuel supplies,” it stated.

Additionally NP stated that with the advent of COVID 19, the company was proactive in instituting protocols for the sanitisation of the RTWs based on expert advice.