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.
Workers in this unit group assist ship engineer officers to operate, maintain and repair engines, machinery and auxiliary equipment aboard ships or self-propelled vessels. They are employed by marine transportation companies and federal government departments including the armed forces.
- May find that there is no suction on the bilge pump. They check to find if a valve is open somewhere or if the bilge strainer has been improperly secured. (1)
- May find that an alarm trips when power is switched from one engine to another. They turn the power back to the first engine, then search for the source of the problem. They may find that a mechanical valve was incorrectly set, stopping water from transferring as required. (2)
- May hear a knocking noise. They diagnose the cause by checking valves, water pipes and injectors. (2)
- May encounter an unknown source of water in the ship. They determine if there is a leak in piping or in the cooling water tank. (3)
- May decide whether to repair an oil leak or report it to a senior officer. (1)
- May decide when to call the bridge to request the shutdown of a malfunctioning propulsion motor. (2)
- May decide whether a malfunction of an engine, fan, boiler or bilge pump is serious enough to call the senior engineer or whether to coax the equipment along for a period of time until it is convenient to carry out repairs. (2)
- May decide whether equipment should be repaired or replaced. (3)
- May decide whether to extinguish a small engine room fire or to raise the fire alarm. (3)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Engine room crew, water transport, receive general work instructions from senior engineering officers. They prioritize their own work tasks, co-ordinating closely with other engine room crew and with crew in several other departments. Because of the range of persons with whom they must co-ordinate tasks, scheduling of activities may be complex. They plan maintenance functions several days ahead and organize their activities so that gauges and machinery throughout the ship are monitored through a series of rounds. Sudden malfunctioning of machinery frequently interrupts the regular rhythm of the work day, but responsibility for effecting repairs lies mainly with the chief engineer who organizes how the repair will be carried out.
Significant Use of Memory
- May remember which tanks have not been pumped out so that they can deal with them during their next round.
- May remember which valve in the maze of tagged and colour-coded valves is the one that caused problems last year.
- May remember complex step-by-step sequencing of procedures for starting up machinery.
- Look in a file drawer to find schematic drawings for water, bilge, oil or refrigeration systems. (1)
- Consult the ship's supply officer or a computerized database to find out if replacement parts for machinery are on board the ship. (1)
- Refer to numerous sections in a variety of manuals to find details on how to repair ship machinery. Often it is necessary to cross reference information from several sources. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Engine room crew, water transport, generally work as part of a four or five member team in the engine room. They are also part of a larger team which encompasses the whole ship's company. Since engine maintenance and repair must continue on a 24-hour basis, engine room crew are also team members with crew who carry out similar duties as themselves on different shifts. While being part of a team, engine room crew sometimes work independently to do routine inspections and maintenance. They are sometimes paired with a co-worker to load fuel or to do repairs.
Engine room crew, water transport, continue to learn on the job and through courses. They may take training in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), confined space entry, first aid and marine emergency duty (MED). They may take technical courses such as steam plant operation, small gas turbines, welding, plumbing and refrigeration. They may also receive training in firefighting and life boat emergency evacuation.