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.
Inspectors and testers in this unit group inspect, grade, sample or test raw materials and products from mineral ore and metal processing operations. They are employed in mineral ore and metal processing plants such as copper, lead and zinc refineries, uranium processing plants, steel mills, aluminum plants, precious metal refineries, cement processing plants, clay, glass and stone processing plants and foundries.
- May find that a customer's order is incomplete with respect to the quantity ordered and the quantity provided. They request additional pours or make up quantities from other orders if they are available. (1)
- May see cobbles, scabs, overfill on bars, seams or overlaps when inspecting. They talk to forepersons or operators to point out the defects and to discuss process changes which could resolve the problems. (2)
- May encounter equipment breakdowns. They troubleshoot the equipment, looking for blown fuses and low fluid levels. They call repair people if necessary. (2)
- May find that samples are off specifications. They examine all the potential reasons, such as sample error, testing error or production error. Depending on their conclusion, they may seek a new sample or may request that mill operators make changes in processes. (3)
- Decide what lab materials need to be ordered and when to contact the suppliers. (1)
- Decide whether to secure and test additional samples to identify possible product defects. (2)
- Decide whether to stop the production process to remove defective pieces. (2)
- Make decisions about the meaning and importance of test results, such as whether test variations are significant enough to warrant remedial action. (3)
- Decide when to alert others to unusual readings or trends, such as test results showing that concrete being shipped does not meet acceptable standards for tensile strength. (3)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing, plan their work activities according to the overall production schedule of the plant. They generally prioritize their own tasks, with occasional reprioritizing taking place in response to special requests from shift forepersons. Inspectors and testers co-ordinate their activities with co-workers and supervisors to ensure that they are accurately taking into account the urgency of specific production runs and shipping deadlines. (2)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember the results of lab analyses for a short period of time before entering them into the computer.
- Remember the various quality standards required by individual customers.
- Memorize test specifications to avoid frequent referencing of lab manuals.
- Recall production codes for work orders.
- Refer to customer databases to check the quality standards for specific orders. (1)
- Find information in instrument manuals to correctly calibrate machines. (2)
- May contact manufacturers, technologists or engineers to get specific data regarding concrete standards and tests. (2)
- Refer to industry publications and course materials for information on emerging technologies. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing, mainly work independently. They may work with a partner. They are part of the production team, liaising closely with supervisors and operators to ensure that quality problems encountered through inspection or testing are dealt with quickly and effectively.
Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing, continue to learn. For example, they may take computer or quality control courses to update their knowledge of new computer systems and advanced sampling techniques. They take Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training.