Offshore operator Talisman is set to ban E-cigarettes from all their offshore installations. The ban is the result of an overheating incident that had the potential to cause a serious fire and will come into effect Sunday, Oil and Gas People website has reported.
The incident occurred while the device was charging and overheated which resulted in minor damage, but highlighted the safety implications of these devices.
A Talisman spokeswoman said: “We have restricted the use of e-cigarettes from November 30. The decision was taken following an incident on one of our platforms when an e-cigarette overheated while it was charging. We are aware that other operators have taken a similar stance and the safety and health risks have also been highlighted by Oil and Gas UK.”
In a statement to staff, Talisman said that some e-cigarettes sold in the UK are in contravention of safety regulations. Electronic cigarettes have not been officially approved or controlled for use as a nicotine replacement in the UK.
Talisman have stated that traditional tobacco cigarettes will still be allowed in designated smoking areas offshore.
Talisman’s policy introduction follows firms such as Shell and Nexen who have already banned the use of e-cigarettes offshore.
A safety report released in June by Oil and Gas UK raised the issue of the use of e-cigarettes and their use offshore.
It said: Safety-related constraints stipulate that smoking is only permitted within designated safe locations on offshore installations.
“Employers across the industry have requested advice from Oil & Gas UK, which is expected to lead to guidance on managing nicotine use.”
A Talisman employee contacted by STV News said: “The amount of people I’ve seen offshore using an e-cigarette is huge. I would even go as far to say there are just as many people smoking real cigarettes as using e-cigarettes. Banning them is ridiculous. Now everyone will just end up back on the real ones.”
Kevin Forbes, Managing director of www.oilandgaspeople.com and an ex Offshore HSE Advisor said:
“Talisman have banned these as a result of an incident inside the accommodation, there is also safety consideration around workers carrying e-cigarettes outside the accommodation as they are not intrinsically safe and could be considered an explosion hazard even if just in someone’s pocket. This said employers have a duty of care to protect employees from the effects of passive smoking, that duty of care also extends to smokers. E-cigarettes could be the solution to confined smoking shacks where workers are exposed to high amounts of second hand smoke.”
This article originally appeared on www.oilandgaspeople.com