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How high is the risk in the work place for BIOFUELS PROCESSING TECHNICIANS

I do not mind if there is some or if its high but i need an idea before i can further decide if this is something i would want to do #engineer #biofuels #engineering #biofuels-technician #biology #chemistry #energy

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Gene’s Answer

From: http://www.isustainableearth.com/green-jobs/renewable-energy-job-profiles/biofuels-processing-technician-jobs:

"Most biofuels processing technicians work in shifts, as plants operate around the clock. They usually must wear safety equipment, such as gloves or goggles. Work in a plant can be physically demanding because they may have to lift heavy objects and control large machinery. Biofuels processing technicians who work in a plant must complete training to learn all of a company’s standard operating and safety procedures."

From https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/51-8099.01:

Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”

Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 84% responded “Every day.”

Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 73% responded “Every day.”

Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 61% responded “Every day.”

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Very important.”

Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 52% responded “Very high responsibility.”

Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 57% responded “Every day.”

Consequence of Error — 52% responded “Extremely serious.”

Exposed to High Places — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”

Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”

Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 36% responded “Every day.”

Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Biofuels isn't my industry, but I know enough to tell you that with every industry there is some risk. You will be wearing a hard hat and safety glasses if you work at a processing plant/in the field sourcing the material. OSHA (Occupational Helath Safety Administration) denotes common safety practices and guidelines you have to follow depending on your industry. If you follow these regulations and act cautiously and you encourage your coworkers to do the same, the workplace is very safe. There is a one in a million chance something else could go wrong, but if you have a good safety mindset and work at a company with a good safety focus you will be fine.

Other than safety, I would also consider two other things about going into any industry.

1)Hours. If you are salary (generally with a college degree) you will be working a 40 hour week, 5 days a week, 8-4. This is called daylight shift. If you go to technical school to be certified as an electrician or mechanic, you will be an hourly employee. At industrial facilities that operate 24/7/365, you will be on a southern swing shift, or some variation. Which means you could be on 12 hours a day for seven days in a row, then get a week off before coming back on. Or you could be rotating through 7-3, 3-11, and 11-7 shifts. Shifts like this mess with your circadian rhythm and take a toll on your body. While the money is great, you will notice you seem to be depressed working a shift like this just because you're tired all the time from changing your schedule so frequently.

2)The smells. Some plants have air scrubbers per EPA regulations, but sometimes there are things the EPA doesn't regulate and these smells will get into your clothes and stay in them. Working at a tire plant, you will never get the smell out. Some plants it depends on what area you work in. The smells will not affect you after a few weeks, but it will affect the people you live with like a roommate or spouse. Some places offer a uniform service while others don't. Some uniform services are free of charge and some come out of your paycheck.

I am not trying to dissuade you. Working at an industrial facility is very rewarding. No matter what your role is, you will be solving problems, collaborating with coworkers, and improving the process. These are just the negatives. For me, I work in a high risk environment every day but because my facility is very safety focused, I'm not worried about getting injured. That is the least of my worries and I think in your future job search, you should focus more on the work you are doing versus your surroundings. OSHA regulations make sure that every work environment is safe.