OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

Safety Gears- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005

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(Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Poster, 2005)



Occupational health and safety, is a discipline with a broad scope involving many specialized fields. It involves the promotion of maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well -being of workers in all occupations. It includes the prevention among workers of adverse effects on health caused by their working conditions, protection from risks resulting from factors adverse to health by placing and maintaining workers in an occupational environment adapted to physical and mental needs. Health and safety is important as “work” plays a central role in people’s lives, since most workers spend at least eight hours a day in the workplace, whether it is on a plantation, in an office or factory.

This movie is about a boy name Charlie who came from a poor family. His luck changed when he was the winner of one of the five golden tickets inside a Wonka chocolate bar. He won a tour to Willy Wonka’s (Johnny Depp) largest chocolate factory in the world. Willy Wonka was an unusual candy maker who closed down his factory when some of his employees stole his secret recipes. Fifteen years later, he placed five golden tickets in five chocolate bars in an effort to find a successor. It was then observed, while watching this movie, there was a lot of hazards present within the factory and Charlie’s home. Thus, this blog serves as a tool to assess various hazards that were observed in the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005”.




Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 1. Oompa Loompa using a jackhammer

As the children and their parents look on in awe at Willy Wonka’s unusual worker, they are unaware of the danger posed to their hearing. This danger is none other than the continuous noise being emitted by the Oompa Loompa’s drill. While this worker is following the OSHA regulations by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), that is, the earmuffs to protect hearing, persons nearby are exposed to the loud noise. Fortunately for them, the risk of experiencing hearing loss is very low because they do not remain in close proximity to the noise for a significant period of time. Wearing proper safety gear is a form of protection from hazards as it reduces the risk involved.



Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 2. A scenic shot of the factory’s Chocolate River

In this image, depicting Willy Wonka’s edible garden, there is the scenic view of the world’s only chocolate river. As aesthetically pleasing as it may seem, Wonka’s world renowned chocolate river presents lethal hazards for employees and visitors alike. The banks of the river have no barriers in place to prevent slip and fall hazards. It has been seen multiple times throughout the movie that Willy Wonka, the working Oompa Loompas and the visitors were standing dangerously close to the edge of the river banks. Furthermore, there was a small bridge linking one side of the river bank to the other. The bridge is narrow, steeper on one side, and covered in grass without any form of rails.

An actual, non-fictional company based in the United Kingdom wrote an open letter to Mr. Willy Wonka as a clever way to promote their safety gear. The owner of A-Safe (UK), David Smith wrote “Segregation of pedestrians from unauthorized areas is key to the factory’s safety.” He went on stating that they provide high-vis, flexible Pedestrian Barriers that can act as both guide and protection for staff and visitors. He mentioned the provision of Slide or Swing Gates for the Oompa Loompa who may need to access the river for quality control purposes.”



Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 3 and Figure 4 demonstrating Oompa Loompas throwing and catching items from a tree

In this scene, the hardworking Oompa Loompas are seen literally picking the ‘fruits of their labour’. However, hazards run rampant for every worker involved from the picker to the collector. The worker to the top of the tree may suffer a fall hazard since he is propelling his body to and from on top of a tall tree to launch the goods to the bottom for collection. The workers to the bottom may suffer a crush hazard since they could be hit by the falling items. Safety equipment and gear which can be utilized in a situation like this is a properly constructed scaffolding to ensure that the Oompa Loompa can safely climb up and down the tree. Moreover, a safety harness and a lanyard should be connected to him on the scaffolding in the event that the worker falls.

Figure 5: Proper safety gear that should have been worn

With regards to getting the items down to the other worker who is at ground level, there should be some sort of basket to collect the goods and a rigging/lowering device to ensure that the items are lowered slowly and safely, instead of being thrown. Even if a lowering system is implemented, the workers at the bottom still need to be equipped with helmets/hardhats as a preventative measure for any falling debris.

Grace Drennan Gagnet advised that in addition to wearing hardhats each employee on a scaffold should be provided with additional protection from falling debris through the installation of toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems, or through the erection of debris nets, catch platforms or canopy structures that contain or deflect the falling items in an effort to prevent physical hazards. (Grace Gagnet 2000)



Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)

Figure 6. Oompa Loompas dancing on a thin piece of metal placed high above ground.

In this scene, the Oompa Loompas are seen dancing on a thin piece of metal that is a a few feet above the ground. They are jumping and dancing on the job which causes a hazard if one of them were to fall. There is also nothing to break the fall which means if any of them falls, this would result in injuries which can be quite serious because of the distance they are falling from. To prevent this from occurring, the use of proper signs indicating no horseplay while on the job should be used to prevent any accidents or incidents.



Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)

Figure 7. The exterior of Charlie’s home

The yard has many objects scattered around with rocks leading to the path towards the door. There is also a bit of clutter closer to the house which is occupied by old furniture. The house is fenced using pointed sticks that have no safeguard at their tips. There can be a slip hazard in the snow near these sticks which would result in a serious puncture wound.



Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)

Figure 8 and 9. The flooring and roof of Charlie’s room

The house is crooked! This is made even more obvious when the father enters a diagonal door. The floor of Charlie’s room seems to be pieces of board nailed together un-orderly in some areas. If someone is walking there and not paying attention, this could cause them to step and fall. The ceiling inside the house is made of a few wooden boards and because of the apparent holes in the roof; they have been exposed to different weather patterns. These wooden platforms seem to be swollen and it is clear to see that they are falling apart. There is nothing below them to prevent them from falling and if they do fall, Charlie can suffer from a fall hazard while his family especially the grandparents are at risk for a crush hazard. The roof of the house is not stable and there are holes in it. At any moment a roof tile can fall in and there is nothing to break the fall.

Just looking at the picture below makes me nervous! I’m all for improvisation but I’d rather be safe than sorry, wouldn’t you? The placement of the ladder is totally wrong. According to Health and Safety Executive (Safe use of ladders and stepladders), the ladder should be placed on firm, level ground. What can you deduce from the picture below? In my opinion, the surface the ladder is placed on does not look wide enough. It also does not look firm and immovable. If the surface the ladder is on happens to move or shake it is possible that the ladder will as well. Anyone on the ladder at that point in time can fall or slip. It is somewhat likely that this will occur but if it does the damages of the fall or slip would be moderate since the distance from the ladder to the floor is not that far apart.


Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)

Figure 10. The ladder leading to Charlie’s room



Class A: Fire involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles.

Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figures 11 and 12 above show the welcome fireworks at the factory and the fire caused by sparks emitted from fireworks.

Solid materials found in the welcome scene were plastic, metals and textiles. The dolls were made out of plastic, metals and chocolate which are considered flammable materials which resulted in a fire. The cause of the fire was due to a spark from the fireworks at the end of the welcome show. The sparks touched the dolls which resulted in the fire spreading onto other objects around it. The objects around the dolls were a chair made out of plastic and lastly the red curtain which was made out of various textiles such as velvet and velour.

In this scene we see the occupiers passing through a pathway which was in between the fire to enter the factory. The OSH Act Part V states S.26 (1) “Provide adequate means of escape in case of fire”. As a result of this, we see there was no adequate exit to escape the fire other than the closed gate behind the occupier, which results in a violation of the OSH Act. There was also no notice to the fire department of a fire which is another violation of the Act (S.26(6) Requirement to give notice to the fire authority and the municipal corporation of any change of use). In addition there was no fire extinguisher which also violates the Act (S.27(1) Safety provisions in case of fire).

Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figures 13: Access to the factory though the fire

Here are some fire prevention tips that should have been utilized to avoid these types of situation:

  • Fire Extinguishers – ensure that there is always a fire extinguisher in your workplace (more than one if possible) educating employees and employers to have basic knowledge on how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Exits – provide sufficient exists for everyone in your workplace to exit easily and safely without causing harm to anyone with the use of appropriate signs.
  • Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – each workplace should have sprinklers to slowly extinguish fires and smoke detectors to alert workers as to when a fire is taking place.

Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 14: Image showing the location of the beds of the elderly folk living in Charlie’s home

The bed is directly in front of an active fireplace and there is no safeguard in front of it. If anything is to pitch from the fire, it would land directly on the bed which has thick linen on it. This would by extension cause damage to the elderly persons and could potentially burn down the house which is made entirely of low quality wood.



At the nutting room located in the factory, we see Miss Veruca Salt being carried and thrown into the nutting hole which leads to the garbage incinerator. Incinerators use the process of heat to burn the waste materials. The outcome of this process is to reduce the volume of waste material and disposing it in a much more compact and neat way. The consequence of being thrown into an incinerator could be catastrophic. It could result in severe burns. An individual can also inhale smoke from the burning of the waste and this can result in affecting their respiratory system. This could be prevented by safeguarding the area where the squirrels operate such as a barricade around the hole big enough for the nuts to fall into the hole but small enough to make sure no human can fit through, under or over the barricade.

Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 15.  Veruca being lifted and thrown into the garbage incinerator.

Another solution to avoid Miss Salt’s incident is simply to put a “DO NOT ENTER” sign on the gate right before entering the nutting facilities. We see Mister Wonka close the gate with a lock but it wasn’t enough. Signs can be read and individuals will be alerted based on the colour of the sign. Occupiers should have also partaken in a basic safety procedure presentation which should have been shown to them before entering the nutting room. Lastly, they should be notified why it’s dangerous to enter the nutting area and the consequences of entering before arriving to the room.



As simple as it may seem, not having a proper backrest on a chair while working, can be very uncomfortable as well as having long term and short term effects on an individual. It can be seen in the picture below that the female at the workstation does not have proper back support for her chair. According to Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (OSH Answers Fact Sheets, 2014), the backrest of the chair should have a firm lumbar support; in this instance it does not. The worker is at risk but it is not major. If the problem is not fixed she can eventually develop a hunched back in the long run and back pain in the short run.

Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)

Figure 16: The toothpaste factory where Charlie’s father works.

Ergonomics, however, refers to more than just the equipment used in carrying out work tasks. In fact, the Health and Safety Executive (2013) notes that ergonomics “deals with psychological and social aspects of the person and their work” as well.  In the figure below, we see the employees’ reaction to their employer after being told abruptly that there will be immediate changes in their workload and productivity for a certain period of time. They are required to produce twice the amount of output due to time constraints which makes for very exhausting work. Moreover, the employees were not allowed a smooth transition into their new tasks, showing a lack of support and care from management. All of these things can impact negatively on the psychological and physical well-being of workers. Psychological because the high workload leads to increased stress and irritation on the job and the latter (physical well-being) because physically they are exhausted, raising the risk of accidents occurring.

Source: Image from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 17: Mr. Salt’s factory depicting the issue of ergonomic hazard.



Upon entering the Invention Room of the chocolate factory, we observe that the room is filled with liquid chemicals of all different sizes and colours stacked together. Some are even placed on Bunsen Burners. This can pose a risk to employees who come into direct contact with these chemical as the bottles are not properly labelled, and leaks or spills of flammable or toxic substances can lead to burns if exposed to skin and eyes as well as an explosion or fire. The severity of this could lead to long term injury or even loss of life.

Inhalation of these toxic substances without proper respiratory mask can severely affect your lungs overtime. According to the OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standards (HCS), it requires that all hazardous chemicals must be properly labelled with safety data sheets for exposed workers including information on the hazardous chemicals in their work area and measures to be used to protect themselves. The labels should include harmonized signs, word, pictograph or hazard statement for each hazard class or category. As we see from the picture below, the bottles contain no informative labels, precautionary sign or hazardous symbols to indicate the type of hazard or hazard class thus increasing the likelihood of contamination.

Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 19 and 20 show the various chemicals in containers that are not labelled.



Directly behind the bed is a fridge with a microwave on top of it. Since it is clear that the roof is leaky, if water gets into the sockets where the appliances are plugged in, this could cause an electrical fire. This would easily spread to the bed, and potentially cause the house to burn down.

Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 21. Fridge and microwave placed behind grandparents bed.



Source: Images from the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Figure 22. The glass elevator used to travel in and out the factory.

The picture above illustrates the use of a glass elevator as the primary means of transport in and out of the factory. However, this can prove to be a Psychological Hazard to those travelling in the elevator as it is lifted to immense heights causing the occupants heart rate to increase. Also, the speed at which the elevator traveled at can an increase in the levels of anxiety and stress to the occupants. This can lead to a traumatized state, especially if the worker is afraid of heights. Therefore, as a preventative measure, the elevator should use a metal frame instead of glass, properly fastened to thick metal cable wires and move at a reasonable paste to accommodate all age differences.



Safety is no joking matter whether it may be at home or at work. We all must be careful of our surroundings at all times which will help prevent us from serious injury and harm. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor; you are still at risk for hazards to occur. Our group Safety Gears were able to depict the hazards both in Charlie’s home and at the Chocolate Factory. Even though the movie is fictional, most of the hazards found, occur in everyday life and we need to be aware of it. Our blog provided an insight as to what can happen if we do not follow proper safety rules and guidelines. It is okay to be like Grandpa Joe after reading this blog, we understand.

Grandpa Joe dancing



“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, AnnaSophia Robb, Julia Winter, Helen Bonham Carter, Jordan Fry, David Kelly, Philip Wiegratz, Deep Roy, Missi Pyle, Noah, Taylor, Adam Godley, Franziska Troengner, James Fox, Liz Smith. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2005.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Poster. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.impawards.com/2005/charlie_and_the_chocolate_facotry_ver2.html

Ergonomics and human factors at work: A brief guide (2013, March). Retrieved October 5, 2017 from www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ergonomics.htm

Gagnet, G. D. (2000). Fall protection and scaffolding safety: an illustrated guide. Rockville, MD: Government Institutes.

Hazard Communication | Occupational Safety and Health Administration: OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standards (HCS). Retrieved October 05, 2017, from https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html

How Does an Incinerator Work? (2010, March 22). Retrieved October 07, 2017, from http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-does-an-incinerator-work

OSH Answers Fact Sheets (2014, March 5). Retrieved October 04, 2017, from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/chair.html

Safety Center, Inc. | Safety Programs | Workplace Safety Classes | Cal OSHA. (2013, May 22). Retrieved October 07, 2017, from https://safetycenter.org/12-tips-to-prevent-workplace-fires-national-fire-safety-month/

Safe use of ladders and stepladders. (n.d.). Retrieved October 04, 07, from Health and Safety Executive: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg455.pdf

There’s no business like SNOW-business! Inside the tiny British company which has provided the white stuff for Harry Potter, James Bond, Gladiator and a host of other Hollywood films. Retrieved October 03, 2017 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2766805/There-s-no-business-like-SNOW-business-Inside-tiny-British-company-provided-white-stuff-Harry-Potter-James-Bond-Gladiator-host-Hollywood-films.html#ixzz4v94ckNTf

U.S Department of Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA’s Hazard Communication, Retrieved October 05, 2017, from




  1. For more information on the right and wrong ways to sit at a desk/work station, please refer to Cosmopolitan Health and Fitness Magazine at: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a33365/ways-youre-sitting-wrong/
  2. For more information on bridge design, please refer to Chapter 2 of the text: Requirements of Bridge Design and Evaluation by Fu, Gongkang
  3. Also for further reading on bridge design please refer to the online article entitled Aesthetic Guidelines for Bridge Design by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, available at: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/bridge/pdf/aestheticguidelinesforbridgedesign.pdf



One thought on “Safety Gears- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005

  1. Hi, I think this blog very interesting! It outlines a wide variety of health and safety hazards in a creative way. It is comprehensive to anyone, even if a child chose to read it. You have made many references which lends to further reading and research, and this will help others who read the blog and are looking for references to help with their own research.


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