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 activities of workers engaged in underground and surface mining operations and quarries. They are employed by coal, metal and non-metallic mineral mines and quarries.
- Cannot meet production targets because of equipment malfunctions and the low quality of materials at current mining locations. When equipment breaks down, they call mechanics and outside service contractors to carry out repairs. When yields are below targets, they inspect sites, review engineering plans, analyze historical yields and discuss their findings with mine managers and engineers. They may move operators and equipment to other areas of mining sites. (2)
- Cannot proceed with production plans because of unsafe work conditions. They ask operators to complete tasks such as breaking-up frozen rock piles, clearing blocked roadways and digging deeper drainage ditches to prevent water overflow. They re-position equipment and reassign operators in response to environmental safety concerns such as high levels of methane and fuel spills. They restrict access to these areas until air quality readings are within acceptable ranges and fuel spills have been cleaned up. (3)
- Choose assignments for equipment and operators. They assign operators to equipment according to their qualifications, experience and availability. They choose tasks and locations for equipment according to production requirements. (2)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Assess the safety of mining operations. They observe crew members and equipment at work. They confirm the use of personal protective equipment and check to see that standard operating procedures are being followed. They review equipment and inspection logs and incident and accident reports. They talk to operators to ensure they are alert and fit for work. (3)
- Evaluate efficiency of production processes. They review production figures for each operator and piece of equipment. They examine the causes of operator and equipment downtime and delays due to bad weather and poor road conditions. They make their assessment within the context of daily, weekly and monthly production goals for their mines. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Supervisors of mining and quarrying are responsible for planning and organizing their own job tasks within the requirements of mines' production plans. They attend shift exchange meetings to understand previous shifts' accomplishments and learn about any disruptions that may require adjustments to their shift plans. Throughout their shift, they often make adjustments to their schedules in response to production slow-downs, equipment breakdowns and changes in the weather. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Supervisors of mining and quarrying are responsible for the planning, scheduling and dispatching of operators and equipment to meet daily production goals. They also participate in the planning of mine operations. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember operators' skill sets, seniorities and equipment preferences.
- Remember daily production goals and job-specific information provided to them by their cross-shifts and mine managers.
- Find information about safety regulations from mining legislation and their organizations' policies and procedures manuals. (2)
- Find information about previous shifts by speaking with 'cross shift' foremen and reading incident reports and production schedules. (2)
- Find information about production levels by speaking with dispatchers, reviewing data in computerized mining modules and speaking with operators. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Supervisors of mining and quarrying coordinate and integrate job tasks with the workers they supervise, their mine managers and other supervisors to ensure operators and equipment are available to meet their mines' production goals. (3)
Supervisors of mining and quarrying need to learn continuously to maintain expertise with rapidly changing mining technologies and methods, maintain mandatory skill certifications such as first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation and improve their supervisory skills. They attend courses offered by their organizations on topics such as leadership and supervisory skills and computer skills. They also learn through their day-to-day interaction with co-workers and management team members. (2)