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Skill Demands

Students are required to have both fine and gross motor control to operate various pieces of equipment. Students should possess adequate vision in order to read instruments and take measurements, and must be capable of climbing vertical ladders and walking platforms with open gratings. Some students with disabilities may require academic accommodations to equalize opportunities to meet the academic demands of this program or a course within it.

Work Safety

Of primary importance in industry is the need to perform each action in a safe and rational manner. The college and the plants provide safety training and the proper use of personal protective equipment.

Environmental Protection

All operators are trained to control their units to minimize environmental impact. Graduates are familiar with the laws with respect to the environment, and plants strive to perform at levels that produce emissions levels far less than the government standards.

Start and stop process equipment as required

This involves lining out pipe lines from source to destination, opening and closing appropriate valves, checking equipment for proper lubrication levels and other system checks, and then starting the equipment or introducing flow through the equipment.

Routine checks on equipment

Every shift there will be certain required routine readings and checks through the unit that must be performed, but operators are expected to make more frequent checks, particularly if an area of the plant requires some additional attention due to operating changes or problems. Due to the nature of process units, operators must occasionally climb ladders on towers and be capable of walking high platforms with open steel grate floors.

Collection of Process Samples

Operators will collect liquid and vapor samples to be analyzed by the plant lab and, most often, also run some routine tests in a small lab adjacent to the control room to ensure that the products they are making are on specification.

Preparation of Unit Equipment for Safe Work

Operators on shift are responsible to isolate the fluids and electrical streams to plant equipment and clean and flush process fluids from it so that it is safe for maintenance personnel to work on it. The operators sign a permit that verifies that the equipment is safe for work. When the work is completed, they then restore the equipment to operations as required.

Control Panel Operations

Everyone likely has a view of what a control room with control panels looks like. The operators control the operations of the plant from this control center by making the necessary control changes on a computer keyboard, while viewing graphics of the actual process on screens. Keep in mind that for operations in the control room, operators typically must go out into the unit to open and close valves etc. to facilitate the changes and to check that things are working properly.

Liaison with other shifts

At the end of each shift, the operators meet briefly with the shift leaving to explain how the plant is performing, and keep continuity of information. Operators must also document all changes made in a plant log book to have written communications.

Laptop Requirements

It is recommended that students purchase a laptop with a Windows operating system.

Internet Speed Requirements

For best performance for students learning remotely, an internet connection with a minimum of 40 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speed is recommended in order to effectively use video conferencing and remote lecture deliver software as well as, other online resources remotely. Due to the large area over which students may be dispersed, we are unable to recommend a specific provider, so you will need to inquire around your area to find one that best suits your needs.

Minimum Laptop Requirements

In order to access the internet and virtually-delivered software and courseware, student laptops should include the following at a minimum. By meeting the following specifications, students will be equipped to access software and courseware on their laptop through the internet:

  • Intel i3 Processor or equivalent
  • 4 GB of RAM or more
  • 100 GD HDD or more
  • HD Graphics
  • Webcam with a microphone
  • Wireless 802.11n/ac 5ghz capable
  • Windows Operating System (Windows 10)


To ensure students are getting the most out of their classroom experience, some software will be required.

Lambton College has made this software easily accessible online. Students can leverage our Microsoft Office 365 software packages and services. In addition, much of the software you require for your courses will be available on demand for use on any device – on or off campus.

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