Plant Operator

REPORTS TO: Plant Superintendent

SUPERVISES: Laborers, Forklift Operators, Assistant Plant Operators

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The Plant Operator position will be responsible for the operations of the plant. Monitors and operates process control equipment and packaging of materials. Interprets plant procedures.


Employee will work a base schedule of 12 hour shifts, 3 days one week and 4 days the next week, with a 30 minute unpaid meal break. Employee will be expected to be on call nights and weekends to assist with facility or plant emergencies and/or customer delivery requirements. Variations to this schedule or overtime must be PRE-APPROVED by the General Manager.


The list below includes but does not limit the employee to the following. Other duties may be assigned as needed.

  • Supervises Laborers, Forklift Operators, Assistant Plant Operators
  • Monitor and troubleshoot operating equipment.
  • Unloading and/or assisting with unloading of rail cars.
  • Ensures plant adheres to safety, environmental rules, and policies and procedures of American Garden Perlite.
  • Ensures plant and employees are working at maximum efficiency to ensure maximum production.
  • Ensures that product testing is completed such as gradations and density testing.
  • Identify process deviation and perform root cause/corrective action.
  • Conduct area inspections and audits.
  • Performs pre-shift inspection of plant.
  • Performs preventative and routine maintenance.
  • Observes gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Replenishes inventory as needed.
  • Takes part in interview process of potential new employees with General Manager and Office Manager.
  • Trains and supervises employees.
  • Takes part in employee evaluations with General Manager and Office Manager.
  • Ensures employees are following shift schedules to ensure proper coverage and to eliminate unauthorized overtime.
  • Ensures that weekly safety meetings are being conducted.
  • Ensures that all required shift paperwork, bill of ladings for received material, etc is correct and turned into the Office Manager or emailed to appropriate people at the end of every shift.
  • Oversees all employees on shifts that do not have an assigned Plant Manager and is working with an Assistant Plant Manager.
  • Coordinates the loading of trucks for customer deliveries, as needed.
  • Ensures that clean-up of plant area is complete at the end of every shift.
  • Back-up to Forklift Operator, as needed.
  • Back-up to Laborer, as needed.


  • Must be able to pass a pre-employment drug screen and physical.
  • Must have clean driving record of three years.
  • Knowledge of manual and electrical hand tools.
  • Must be able to operator a forklift, light truck, and other related motorized equipment.
  • Experience in Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel.


  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • High school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED).
  • One year as a perlite expander plant operator or two years in a similar plant operator position.
  • Will be required to obtain CPR and First Aid Certification within six months of hiring.


  • Must have a valid Oregon Driver’s License


  • Must be able to lift and stack objects up to 50 pounds occasionally and frequently exert 10 to 20 pounds of force to lift, carry, push, and pull or otherwise move objects
  • Work involves stooping, kneeling, crouching, twisting/turning and reaching; bending at the waist. Indoor/outdoor work environment with exposure to weather extremes.
  • Must be able to perceive the nature of sound, utilize near and far vision, depth perception, provide oral information, and possess the manual dexterity to handle and work with various materials and objects which are essential aspects of this position.