How to become a Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operator

Bulk materials handling plant operators operate equipment to load, unload, move, store or stack bulk materials such as grain, sugar or mineral ore.

Personal requirements of a Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operator

  • Interested in practical and manual work
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • free of or able to control asthma and allergies
  • safety-conscious.

Duties & Tasks of a Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operator

Bulk materials handling plant operators may perform the following tasks:

  • control the loading of material or the operation of continuous feeding equipment such as pumps and conveyors
  • check products against quality measures
  • check the operation of equipment visually, through gauges and instruments or through computerised monitoring equipment
  • control and adjust the operation of equipment
  • inspect controls and equipment to identify wear and damage, and arrange maintenance
  • conduct weighbridge operations
  • prepare shift operation reports, record breakdowns and levels of productivity
  • operate central control facilities.

Working conditions for a Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operator

Bulk materials handling plant operators may work indoors at export terminals or outdoors at receiving points. Most work eight to 10-hour day shifts, although some night work may be required for particular types of transport. Some facilities (such as 24-hour ports) may require staggered shifts. Grain handlers usually work extended or additional shifts during harvest time. During summer, conditions can become very hot and dusty, and problems such as heat stroke may occur.

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