Chemical Plant Operator

Summary

Chemical plant operators control the operation of chemical production equipment used in processing minerals and in manufacturing a range of products such as drugs, textiles, ammunition and plastics.

Duties & Tasks

Chemical plant operators may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare and measure raw materials
  • feed raw materials and processing agents into plant machinery
  • set controls and operate machinery
  • check instruments and equipment to ensure correct operation, and attend to any abnormal operating conditions
  • take samples for testing, test products and record process data.

Specialisations

Chemical and Hydrocarbon Plant Technician

A chemical and hydrocarbon plant technician controls the operation of plant machinery and equipment to produce chemical products and to extract, refine and distribute hydrocarbon and oil products. They generally work at a more senior and more technical level to operators and will often be responsible for the supervision of staff.

Working Conditions

Chemical plant operators may work in production areas that are noisy, hot, dusty and, at times, contain fumes. However, the work environments are generally spacious, ventilated and well lit. The majority of the work may be completed while standing. Shiftwork is sometimes required.

Plant operators usually work in teams and must adhere to safety regulations due to the nature of the work. Protective equipment is supplied.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to follow written instructions
  • good communication and numeracy skills
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • mechanical aptitude
  • good problem-solving and analytical skills
  • aptitude for working with computers
  • good hand-eye coordination.

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