Case Study: Visitor induction solves factory faux pas

A group of 10 people were doing a tour of an old chocolate factory. Their escort, Willy, mumbled a lot and spoke in riddles. The visitors wandered around the plant as they liked. Willy operated the transport equipment way too fast, but he did at least insist that the visitors wore the proper PPE – sometimes. As the tour progressed two of the visitors slipped and fell, one was infected with a gastric virus and one was caught in machinery. Luckily none of the incidents were fatal.
But safety should NEVER be left to luck. The lack of safety barricades, machine guards and signage aside, before the visitors even set foot into the operations area they should have received a visitor induction.

An effective visitor induction would have:

  • addressed the organisation’s legal obligation to inform visitors of their safety responsibilities while on site
  • provided a professional, consistent safety message
  • covered issues such as cultural awareness and anti-discrimination (particularly in relation to the funny little orange men working on the production line)
  • identified hazards and safety precautions, e.g. stay on the designated paths to avoid contact with operating equipment.
  • emphasised the requirement to stay with the escort and not go wandering too close to chocolate rivers, rotten egg waste disposal shafts and Wonkervision equipment
  • covered emergency procedures and exits (if emergency procedures were initiated after the first incident, there would have only been one injured person)
  • made sure all visitors were safely accounted for at the end of the tour, with no one left in the juicing room, furnace or taffy pulling room.

So you might have realised that this factory is a place of “pure imagination”. Regardless, it demonstrates a very real point – workplaces can be dangerous and everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to help ensure their own safety and that of others.

A visitor induction is an essential part of an organisation’s safety communication. The induction can be customised to suit any type of organisation and can be:

  • paper-based or electronic
  • used on computers, tablets, smart phones or purpose-built kiosks
  • stand alone or interactive with video, animations, photographs and quizzes
  • available 24/7
  • attached to a label printer, card printer or barcode scanner
  • used to store information and generate reports as required.

For further information on how a Visitor Induction System can help you to meet your Work Health and Safety obligations, click here, or contact Pertrain Pty Ltd on (07) 5445 2233.

Now if you think this article has been a bit silly, I’ll leave the last word up to Willy: “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”


1.Pertrain Induction Programs –
1. Willy Wonka & the chocolate Factory, 1971, Quotes,