Millwrights are craftsmen who work with equipment and machinery. Their work requires precision, as it involves installing, taking apart, and moving machinery and heavy equipment according to plans, blueprints, or drawings.
Furthermore, working as a millwright is about dealing with challenges and finding solutions to problems.
If you are interested in working in this field, take a look at what a typical day in the life of a millwright entails
Attending morning meetings
Because millwrights work in different environments with different tools, it is important that they start their days with meetings to go through toolbox checks and safety issues. A manager or supervisor will usually lead these meetings. These meetings are referred to as “toolbox talk”. Here the supervisor will also remind the crew to report any hazards they may notice while on-site. There is usually an attendance register for the crew to sign to show they were at the meeting, and that they understood all that was discussed and what they are expected to do.
Communication is therefore extremely important, not only for the supervisors, but for the workers too. The tasks, as well as equipment and safety instructions, need to be communicated clearly. Similarly, the concerns and questions of the crew also need to be communicated clearly to the supervisors to ensure everyone can work effectively to get the job done.
Going through plans, blueprints and equipment
Before starting the work on-site, millwrights need to go through the plans or blueprints with the supervisor and understand what is expected from them and where the work needs to be done. They also need to go through the selection of tools and equipment required to do the job to ensure that they are well prepared to start the work.
Knowing how to read and interpret plans and blueprints and how to utilise the relevant equipment is very important. Millwrights work with a variety of industrial machines and equipment. These machines can be found in manufacturing plants, food processing facilities, mines, and energy plants to mention a few, and working with this machinery requires skill and precision.
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Starting the job for the day
Depending on where millwrights have been assigned to work, they get on-site and help to offload any tools and equipment needed. The equipment will depend on what work needs to be done – anything from repairs and installations to laying foundations or doing maintenance checks. Once they have inspected and labelled all the equipment and checked the equipment they need to fix or work on, they will begin with the day’s tasks.
Working on-site requires teamwork and collaboration. It requires millwrights to think critically and to find solutions.
As part of their daily work, millwrights need to calculate, measure, work with welding to create pieces of metal needed for the equipment they’re working on, and operate heavy machinery.
Using essential skills
There is a set of skills that millwrights need in order to work effectively. On a daily basis, millwrights need the ability to use and interpret documents such as blueprints, plans, tables, drawings and specifications to understand the work that needs to be done.
Numeracy is another key skill, as millwrights need to be able to take accurate measurements using instruments.
As mentioned earlier, other skills necessary for a millwright are teamwork, communication, and critical thinking. They need to be able to evaluate the status of machines and apply their knowledge on how to fix and use the equipment correctly.
A career as a millwright is an exciting one for someone who enjoys dealing with industrial equipment and solving problems related to machinery and equipment. The role is not office-bound, and offers different challenges and environments. It is perfect for someone who has good maths and communication skills, works well with different people, and is a critical thinker.
The working environment differs depending on projects and can also be risky because of weather conditions, as well as exposure to contaminants and hazardous conditions.
Do you have the skills and personality to work as a millwright?