Why allow tours at all then? If it really is so dangerous that a camera or cell phone could set it off, why risk it? The funny thing is that the grist mill may be more dangerous than the alcohol, the fine powdered flour in the air is very flammable.
I thought the thing we were discussing is that some company's have concluded that for them, it is too dangerous, and that is why they are taking the line they do. If you remove all possible ignition sources then it can be safe. After all, people do work in those places without harm all day long for years and years, but they follow certain procedures and rules.
And from a practical point of view, if I were a distillery manager that was leaking alcohol vapour in significant quantities, I'd want to do something about getting it back in the bottle as well as eliminating ignition sources!
As I said, some managements go overboard in their quest to eliminate risk - even when the risk is very small. Many modern managements with their MBA's and shiny cars have very little practical experience of the operations they are responsible for. And some safety managers become zealots with the little bit of power they are given. Nevertheless it's their right to do what they believe is in the company's best interests and industrial OH&S regulations require them to do this. Tourists with cameras don't rate.
As for the explosive potential of flour (or any finely divided organic dust) whilst the effects can be devastating (as seen in grain elevator explosions over the years) the actual dust to air ratio is critical to allowing ignition and does not usually reach that point in open areas - more likely in dust collectors and stive rooms. For the dust to air ratio to reach critical levels in an open production area it would have become uninhabitable at some earlier point. Especially for tourists with cameras!
But imagine if a camera did spark an explosion. I'm sure Winnebego didn't think it was necessary to tell owners that they had to remain at the wheel of the RV after setting the cruise control but they include in the operating manual now after a woman in Oklahoma was awarded $1.75 million and a new RV after she set the cruise control while traveling down the highway and then went into the back to make herself a sandwich. Of course the RV went into the ditch and rolled. Liability cases are unpredictable.
It's not the alcohol vapours in a distillery they are probably worried about but the grain dust from the hops which is very flammable.
I would have the Leica. I'm not sure if I'm prepared to haul the 8x10 around Europe again. If I end up on Skye, I will have it with me and ask. No harm no foul. It's not like I would walk away from Talisker empty handed. lol
Ok, so I am planning a trip to bonnie Scotland and I read in Rick Steve's travel guide that Talisker does not allow cell phones or cameras inside the distillery.
Is he kidding?
No kidding I've bee there. photographing is strictly prohibited. I did not dare trying to convince them that with my Rolleiflex there is no electricity involved. They fear ignition of a blast of alcohol in the air. Not in the stills hall I suppose but the hall with the mash and wort basins. It is not rally separated from the stills hall. The only place inside the distillery where you can take pictures is here:
This is the last station of the guidance. There is a small room separated from the warehouse by a window.
Not even with a completely manual camera, not using batteries? Wow. That's harsh.
May be you would convince the guide but you would have to convince other visitors from eight different countries in at least five different languages in which respect your camera is basically different from theirs. My Italian, French, Czech or Japanese is not good enough that I did even tried to make an attempt