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Crushing/Grinding/Polishing Machine Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up, operates, or tends machines to crush, grind, or polish materials, such as coal, glass, grain, stone, food, or rubber.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Reads work orders to determine production specifications and information.
  • Observes operation of equipment to ensure continuity of flow, safety, and efficient operation, and to detect malfunctions.
  • Moves controls to start, stop, or adjust machinery and equipment that crushes, grinds, polishes, or blends materials.
  • Records data from operations, testing, and production on specified forms.
  • Examines materials, ingredients, or products, visually or with hands, to ensure conformance to established standards.
  • Weighs or measures materials, ingredients, or products at specified intervals to ensure conformance to requirements.
  • Cleans, adjusts and maintains equipment, using hand tools.
  • Notifies supervisors of needed repairs.
  • Sets mill gauges to specified fineness of grind.
  • Rejects defective products and readjusts equipment to eliminate problems.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

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