Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Supervisors in this unit group supervise and co-ordinate the activities of workers in the following groups: Pulping Control Operators (9233), Papermaking and Coating Control Operators (9234), Labourers in Wood, Pulp and Paper Processing (9614), and Machine Operators and Related Workers in Pulp and Paper Production and Wood Processing (943). They are employed by pulp and paper companies, paper converting companies, sawmills, planning mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing companies.
- Find that workers are not following safety procedures. They meet with workers to discuss the safety infractions such as failing to lock out a machine's power supply prior to beginning repair work. They review the standard work procedures and protocols and inform workers of next steps in the discipline process should further infractions occur. In some instances, they may require workers to retake specific safety training such as fall arrest or confined space. (2)
- Cannot meet production quotas because of worker absenteeism and declining production rates. When full time workers are frequently absent from or late for work, supervisors in this unit group bring in replacement workers who are on the part-time call lists, and workers currently on scheduled days off in attempts to achieve production targets. When they observe that workers' production rates are declining, they speak with the workers to identify reasons for the declines. In some instances, they may reassign operators to other machinery and equipment and provide time for the workers to address concerns that are personal in nature. When production declines are the result of inadequate or lack of training, they arrange for additional training to help workers build their competency levels. (2)
- Cannot meet production targets because of equipment breakdowns. When equipment fails, supervisors in this unit group examine the cause of the breakdowns and consult with maintenance supervisors to determine the nature, extent, and timelines of repairs required. In some instances, such as the malfunctioning of a rooftop fan, they contact the manufacturer and request that a new fan be delivered and installed. (3)
- Find that products do not meet specifications. For example, when pulp and paper supervisors learn that samples from the current paper run are too wet they check with the dryer operators to determine if the machines were properly calibrated and the rollers were dried between production runs. They make the appropriate adjustments to the machines to ensure paper is dried to specifications. When they receive feedback that paper products are not recycling properly, they check the machinery for impurities and ensure that the correct temperatures and chemicals are being used. They re-calibrate the machinery to ensure final products meet specifications. (3)
- Decide daily production requirements. For example, supervisors of wood processing and sawmill workers decide production requirements after reviewing current stock inventories, customers' orders and requested delivery dates. Production team leaders decide to adjust or halt production runs when defect and waste percentages are outside specified limits for extended periods of time. (2)
- Select job tasks and assignments for workers. For example, sawmill foremen assign workers to run equipment after considering qualification requirements, workers' demonstrated skill sets and knowledge of standard operating procedures for that equipment. (2)
- Determine training requirements and promotions. For example, supervisors in this unit group determine which workers will receive training on new machinery and new work processes. They review workers' safety records, consider workers' abilities and initiative and production requirements. They decide which workers will receive promotions to head operators and lead hands after reviewing collective agreements, analyzing workers' competencies and reviewing workers' past performances. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Judge the condition and performance of equipment and machinery. For example, pulp and paper and sawmill supervisors judge the conditions of equipment and machines by observing signs of vibration and listening for unusual and excessive noises. They review workers' notes about equipment performances in logbooks. Sawmill foremen evaluate the performances of kilns by considering how fast wood products are drying, the moisture content of the wood, current levels of humidity inside and outside the kiln, and the accuracy of the kiln temperature control readings. (2)
- Evaluate the efficiency of work processes. For example, pulp and paper mill foremen review the production targets and data gathered on production totals and product quality. They consider their observations during walkabouts and review shift reports outlining equipment breakdowns and worker shortages. They listen to feedback and suggestions offered by workers. (3)
- Assess workers' performance. For example, supervisors in this unit group observe workers' skills and abilities in completing job tasks, consider their ease in operating machines and equipment and review their training and safety records. (3)
- Evaluate workplace safety and work procedures. For example, supervisors in this unit group review both their organizations' standards and industry regulations when conducting safety audits. They observe the uses of personal protective equipment, the placement and expiry dates of fire extinguishers and the locations and storage of chemical products. They evaluate the risks associated with operating various pieces of equipment and machinery, and check for emergency stop switches and protective guards and rails. They observe workers completing tasks to ensure adherence to written operating procedures, and review incident and accident reports. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Supervisors in this unit group organize their days to meet production requirements established by their organizations and quality specifications outlined in industry regulations. They plan their days to gain efficiencies where possible. They frequently adjust their work schedules to attend to pressing concerns such as equipment breakdowns and labour shortages. In larger organizations, they co-ordinate their work plans with maintenance supervisors. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Supervisors in this unit group coordinate and schedule the job tasks of workers they supervise. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Recall safety regulations and operating procedures.
- Find information about daily production numbers by speaking with operators and reviewing production reports and tally counters on machines. (2)
- Find information about incidents and accidents on previous shifts by speaking to their cross-shift and reading incident and accident reports. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Supervisors of forest products processing coordinate and integrate their job tasks with supervisors in other departments to ensure labour and equipment are available to meet their organizations' production goals. (3)
Supervisors of forest products processing learn continuously to improve their supervisory skills and to remain current in new production technologies. They learn through their daily conversations with co-workers. They attend courses and workshops offered by their organizations on such topics as health and safety and leadership in the workplace. They attend courses provided by manufacturers when new equipment and machinery is introduced in their operation. (2)