Illinois Railway Museum

Volunteer Handbook -- Dealing With Visitors

Museum Operations
Volunteer Requirements
Volunteer Benefits
General Rules Of Conduct
Dealing With Visitors
Unusual Events
Promoting The Museum

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Even if you work in a restricted shop area, you will still encounter members of the public in moving about the museum.  In all circumstances, be unfailingly polite and helpful.  Please remember that your attitude and conduct toward our visitors can make the difference in whether they have a safe and enjoyable visit, or an unpleasant experience which may harm the museum.

If you see a visitor in imminent danger, take immediate action.  For example, shout a warning to a person on a track with a train approaching; if they do not respond, take all necessary steps (including flagging the train to a stop or pulling the visitor out of danger if possible) to protect them.  Remember, most of our visitors have never been close to a moving train, and have little concept of how difficult it is to stop quickly.

Visitors engaged in potentially hazardous activities, such as reaching under or into equipment or climbing on equipment that is not open, should be requested to stop.  Politely explain the potential hazard.  If the visitor persists despite such cautions, immediately contact an administrator for assistance.

Direct visitors away from work areas which may present a hazard.  For example, if an outdoor project involves grinding, sandblasting, paint removal, or emission of steam or compressed air, keep visitors back a safe distance.  Consider placing barricades or ropes around such areas if appropriate for the safety of our visitors.  If visitors are found outside of authorized public areas or in closed shops without permission, escort them back to a safe area.

When visitors are found performing unsafe acts, use the opportunity to educate them, not to berate them for their actions.  For example, tell children walking on rails that "real railroaders" don't do that because there might be some grease or oil that could cause a fall. Similarly, persons climbing on equipment should be told politely that it is unsafe except on equipment which is open for inspection.

Try to answer all questions as completely as possible.  If you do not know the answer, offer to assist the visitor in locating someone who does.  Remember that most of our visitors know very little about railroads but want to learn more.  If you take the opportunity to help them, they will get a much more favorable impression of our museum.

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Last Modified: 05/17/05 10:56:17 PM
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