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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Underground Mine Service and Support Workers (8411)

Underground mine service and support workers perform a range of duties related to the operation of ore passes, chutes and conveyor systems, the construction and support of underground structures, passages and roadways, and the supply of materials and supplies to support underground mining.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read instructions and warnings written on signs, labels and packaging, e.g. read warning labels on tools to learn about shock hazards. (1)
  • Read comments on forms and technical drawings, e.g. read comments on forms, such as requisitions, to learn about the status of supplies. (1)
  • Read notices and bulletins, e.g. read notices from workers' compensation boards to learn about workplace hazards and incidents. (2)
  • Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read step-by-step instructions to learn about equipment lockout procedures. (2)
  • Read safety-related information, e.g. read safety rules and regulations governing fall protection, confined spaces and other hazards. (3)
  • May read trade journals, brochures and website articles to learn about new products and construction technologies. (3)
  • May read manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to troubleshoot and repair equipment faults. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • View labels on product packaging and equipment labels, e.g. scan labels on hydraulic control plates to determine the use of various handles, lights and dials on machines. (1)
  • View symbols and icons, e.g. scan Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) symbols to learn about the hazardous properties of chemicals, such as acids. (1)
  • View lists, e.g. skim parts lists to locate identification numbers and quantities. (1)
  • Read worksite procedure checklists to locate emergency contact information, voltages and other information about conditions unique to individual mine sites. (2)
  • Complete a variety of forms, e.g. check boxes and enter data, such as dates, identification numbers and times, in equipment inspection forms and supply requisitions. (2)
  • Locate data, such as dates, times, capacities and dimensions, in tables, e.g. scan conversion charts to determine the required sizes of drill bits. (2)
  • May locate data in graphs, e.g. use graphs to locate production information, such as the amount of ore removed and the percentage of different minerals that ores contain. (3)
  • Study site maps to determine the location of stopes, roadways, ventilation corridors and escape routes. (3)
  • May study technical drawings including scale drawings, schematics and assembly drawings, e.g. scan drawings to learn how to assemble and disassemble equipment, such as hoists and conveyors. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write short comments in log books, e.g. write short comments in log books to record the outcome of safety inspections. (1)
  • Write short notes to co-workers, e.g. write short notes to supervisors to inform them about defective equipment. (1)
  • Write paragraph-length text entries in forms, e.g. complete hazard assessment forms by describing workplace hazards and the steps to perform work safely. (2)
  • May write short reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • Take a variety of measurements using basic tools, e.g. measure the air pressure of self-rescue air units using gauges and the length of pipes needed for construct projects using tape measures. (1)
  • Compare measurements to specifications, e.g. compare the air pressure readings of self-rescue air units to specifications to determine their suitability for use. (1)
  • May estimate distance by pacing out metres. (1)
  • Calculate material requirements, e.g. calculate the quantity of supplies needed for small mining and construction projects. (2)
  • May calculate statistics, e.g. calculate the volume of ore dumped from a specified number of cars. (2)
  • May calculate averages, e.g. calculate the average number of gloves required by workers per shift. (2)
  • May estimate quantities, e.g. estimate the number of pipes needed to complete a project. (2)
  • May estimate weights, e.g. estimate the weight of a load to be lifted by hoist. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Exchange information, such as coordinates, with dispatchers when operating vehicles on mine sites and service roads. (1)
  • Speak to tool-room and parts-room staff to order supplies and determine delivery schedules. (1)
  • Exchange information with co-workers, e.g. talk to supervisors to learn about job assignments and to coordinate activities and schedules. (2)
  • Exchange information with equipment mechanics, e.g. speak with mechanics about equipment faults. (2)
  • Participate in group discussions, e.g. participate in safety meetings to discuss safe work practices and the outcomes of job hazard assessments. (2)
  • May exchange technical information, e.g. talk to engineers and surveyors about working conditions in new sections of mines. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • Encounter delays due to shortages of materials. They inform supervisors of the shortages and contact parts room staff to access additional supplies. They perform other work until the necessary supplies arrive. (1)
  • Decide the order of tasks, e.g. decide the order in which to perform construction related tasks. (1)
  • Choose the tools and materials to accomplish tasks. They consider the types of tasks to be performed, specifications, safety requirements and the tools available to them. (1)
  • Judge the condition of parts, e.g. they inspect belts and hoses for signs of cracks. (1)
  • Find out about activities by referring to schedules and by talking to co-workers. (1)
  • Encounter delays due to equipment breakdowns. They inform supervisors about equipment breakdowns and perform other work until repairs are completed. They may attempt to troubleshoot and repair the equipment themselves. (2)
  • Encounter unsafe work conditions. They seek ways to reduce the risks and refuse tasks that cannot be performed safely. (2)
  • May select the frequency of preventative maintenance tasks performed on equipment. (2)
  • Decide to refuse unsafe work because the risk to their safety and the safety of others is too high. (2)
  • Evaluate the safety of job tasks. They observe electrical, slipping and fall hazards and the location of safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and respirators. They take note of other potential hazards, such as improperly stored tools, broken equipment and confined spaces. (2)
  • Evaluate the performance of equipment. They consider the speed and accuracy of equipment outputs. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of their work. They take measurements, check alignments and physically inspect the elements they constructed. (2)
  • Follow set routines, carrying out tasks assigned by supervisors. They follow regular inspection and maintenance schedules as set out by their supervisors, ensuring there are enough supplies to keep working. They co-ordinate their tasks with other crew members as required. Work may be interrupted to respond to machinery breakdowns and safety concerns. (2)
  • Learn about job hazards by inspecting job sites, reading job hazard assessments, participating in safety briefings and speaking with co-workers. (2)
  • Learn about the condition of vehicles by reading log books and conducting step-by-step vehicle safety inspections. (2)
  • Learn about changes to procedures by reading memos and policy manuals and by speaking with co-workers. (2)
  • May encounter emergencies, e.g. encounter people experiencing medical emergencies. They deliver appropriate first aid measures and contact emergency responders at the earliest opportunity. They continue with their first aid measures until emergency responders arrive. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May key in commands to call up displays of the percentage of sulphur in the air and to start and stop ventilation fans. (1)
  • May use digital meters to measure level of illumination. (1)
  • May use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • May use databases to retrieve drawing and inventory counts and to order supplies. (2)
  • May use databases to generate lists of miners and their lamp, locker and basket numbers. (2)
  • May use spreadsheet software to track inventory and the use of supplies. (2)
  • May use communication software to exchange email with co-workers. (2)
  • May access online information, such as bulletins, posted by employers, suppliers, manufacturers, unions and associations. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • May use computers to access training and learning materials in CD-ROM and DVD players to access training and learning materials. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Underground mine service and support workers may work independently on tasks, such as repairing wall structures, transporting supplies, doing road repair work and working in control rooms. They work as a member of a team when performing tasks, such as laying pipe, stabilizing roofs and operating bolters on mine machines. Workers are usually assigned partners when working in separate underground areas and are responsible for checking on each other at regular intervals for safety reasons.

Continuous Learning

Underground mine service and support workers continue to learn on-the-job. They take refresher courses in first aid and mine rescue. They participate in training sessions to familiarize themselves with the operation of new machines and changes in regulations.

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