Chemical Plant Operators


Manufacturing > Chemical Plant Operators > Working Conditions
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Chemical Plant Operators

Chemical Plant Operators - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, chemical plant operators:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a medium to high level of social contact.
  • Communicate daily by telephone and in person. They also write e-mails, letters, and memos, but far less frequently.
  • Often work as part of a team.
  • Are greatly responsible for the health and safety of others.
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  • Are responsible for the work done by others.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Always wear hardhats and safety goggles while touring the plant. When working with dangerous chemicals, body suits and breathing devices are required.
  • Often work indoors. However, some parts of chemical plants may be exposed to the outside weather.
  • Are regularly exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable.
  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous conditions. The chance of injury is low, but if injured, the level of injury is moderate.
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  • Sometimes are exposed to hazardous chemicals, gases, or hot equipment or liquid.
  • Are often exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures.
  • Must occasionally work in high places.
  • May occasionally work in a vehicle or equipment that is open.
  • Sometimes share work space with others.
  • Sometimes must get into awkward positions to reach cramped work spaces.

Work Performance

  • Must be sure that all details are completed accurately. Errors could cause serious safety problems in the plant or for other workers.
  • Must keep pace with the speed of equipment or machinery.
  • Often repeat the same physical or mental activities.
  • Regularly make decisions that greatly impact coworkers and their employer.
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  • Make most, but not all, of their decisions without consulting a supervisor.
  • Set some, but not all, of their daily tasks and goals without consulting a supervisor.
  • Must meet weekly deadlines.

Hours/Travel

  • May work days, nights, or weekends.
  • May work split shifts. For example, they might work from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with time off in between.
  • May work more than 40 hours a week.
  • Usually work a set schedule.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.