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NOC Code: NOC Code: 9421 Occupation: Chemical plant machine operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Chemical plant machine operators monitor and operate units and machinery to blend, mix, process and package a wide range of specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cleaning and toiletry products. They are primarily employed in chemical, cleaning compound, ink and adhesive industries, but may also be employed by chemical processing departments in other industries. Chemical plant machine operators monitor and operate units and machinery to blend, mix, process and package a wide range of specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cleaning and toiletry products. They are primarily employed in chemical, cleaning compound, ink and adhesive industries, but may also be employed by chemical processing departments in other industries.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read notes from forepersons to learn what happened on the previous shift. (1)
  • Read instruction sheets that accompany new products. (2)
  • Read standard operating procedures set forth by the company. (2)
  • Read trade publications and magazines to keep informed of the latest products and trends. (2)
  • Read memos from management to stay informed of management priorities. (2)
  • Read updates to statistical process control (SPC) manuals when processes are changed. (3)
  • Read Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) materials, including Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), to understand the chemical properties of the raw materials that are being used. (3)
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  • Record work completed on daily batch forms and add information to test forms. (1)
  • Write notes as reminders of tasks to be done. (1)
  • Write minutes of team meetings. (2)
  • Write incident reports regarding failures of equipment or systems. (2)
  • Record key events in a logbook to inform other operators. Entries may be a paragraph or more in length. (2)
  • Write memos to supervisors requesting approval of an expenditure and justifying the expense. (2)
  • Write up modifications which have been made to improve a product. (2)
  • Write revisions to sections of the company's standard operating procedures. (3)
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Document Use
  • Read batch processing tickets which give the recipes for the various products produced. (1)
  • Read product information labels to check the chemical composition of the products. (1)
  • Complete safety checklists. (1)
  • Interpret sanitation logs and enter information in them. (2)
  • Read work schedules posted in the plant which show the number of batches of specific products to be completed by certain dates. (2)
  • Complete forms, such as maintenance request forms and production and process forms which are part of the quality assurance program. (2)
  • Read graphs, such as graphs which illustrate waste water usage which are read to identify trends in patterns of use which may indicate a problem. (3)
  • Read tables, such as troubleshooting tables which are used when there are problems with product viscosity. The tables give differing catalyst to product ratios and the resulting viscosity. (3)
  • Refer to schematic drawings, such as those which show modifications to piping going to the kettle reactor. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use computer applications. For example, use a computerized console to monitor and control the production process. (1)
  • Use a database. For example, maintain production data. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, write reports on product tests or minutes of team meetings. (2)
  • Use communication software. For example, receive or send email messages. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Talk to delivery personnel to direct them to locations for unloading materials. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to co-ordinate work and to exchange information about batches of products. (2)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive instructions and to inform them of work progress. (2)
  • Communicate with suppliers to learn more about new products and raw materials. (2)
  • Interact with managers and chemists involved in taking samples or performing other quality assurance functions in order to learn more about continuous improvement in processes. (2)
  • Inform co-workers about the use of toxic materials and about the chemicals being pumped into a kettle reactor. Miscommunication could result in overfilling the kettle or exposing employees to hazardous materials. (2)
  • Present information at weekly team meetings. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Weigh finished goods and waste materials. (1)
  • Calculate the number of cases produced per line per shift. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare multiple readings of process control variables to earlier readings to ensure that all elements of the process remain within an acceptable range. (1)
  • Monitor the yields of two presses over time to compare the yields and losses on the machines as part of statistical process control analysis. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the length of time it will take to complete a batch of a product. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Chemical plant machine operators' tasks are set by supervisors, with the workers themselves determining the most effective way to carry out the tasks. The order and priority of tasks is determined by the type and number of batches in production. Tasks are routine, with interruptions taking place from time to time to fix broken machines or to assess a defective batch. Co-ordination with other operators is required, as well as liaison with other departments, such as the maintenance and shipping departments. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether to accept or reject raw materials damaged in shipment. (1)
  • Decide what steps to take if the product does not reach the required thickness. (2)
  • Decide whether to adjust machine settings and at what values they should be set. (2)
  • Decide whether to send a batch sample to the lab for testing before releasing the batch. (2)
  • Decide whether to shut down a machine while troubleshooting a problem. (2)
  • Decide when it is the right time to add certain chemicals. The wrong decision can result in spoiled batches. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Machine breakdowns have occurred. Attempt to undertake simple repairs or call on mechanics to resolve more serious situations. (1)
  • A batch does not meet specifications. Examine process control records to identify the problem and solve it by adjusting machine settings or adding catalysts or other chemicals. (2)
  • There are insufficient materials for a product run. Run other products in order to keep production going and take steps to expedite delivery of the missing materials. (2)
  • An alarm bell is heard, indicating that there is a problem somewhere in the system. If the source of the problem is not immediately evident, use trial and error troubleshooting until the problem is located. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Read production sheets to find information on various production runs. (1)
  • Consult suppliers to obtain information about products and materials, and contact chemists to inquire about chemical reactions. (2)
  • Refer to a variety of manuals to find information, such as Statistical Process Control (SPC) manuals for information on quality assurance and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) manuals for information on the use and storage of chemicals. (2)
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