Manufacturing Position Spotlight: Material Handler

July 25th, 2016
staffing specialists bear staff

If you are responsible for filling manufacturing positions at your company, you may need to hire a material handler for the warehouse floor or manufacturing plant. Since this is a skilled job, there are certain traits and characteristics a hiring manager needs to look for on their search for the perfect candidate. Here’s a closer look at the key job responsibilities and top traits of a material handler.

Material Handler Job Responsibilities

The material handler is responsible for physically moving products across a warehouse floor, production facility or manufacturing plant using various tools and equipment. They may be directly involved with pulling materials off a truck and placing them on a shelf, organizing materials on the warehouse floor, wrapping items for storage, and other duties involving the moving of different materials.

Since material handlers may be working with hazardous and non-hazardous materials, they need to understand safety protocols and limitations of using different types of materials to transport different products. They must observe all safety regulations and comply with strict guidelines when moving and distributing different materials, especially items like asbestos, steel, or hazardous waste products. These employees typically work in a very structured environment because of safety risks. They may be tasked with following a checklist or step-by-step instructions to ensure all protocols are followed to completion.

Traits of a Successful Material Handler

Since this job requires standing and moving around for long hours at a time, material handlers must be in reasonable physical shape to handle the physical demands of the job. They must also have a valid driver’s license or a commercial driver’s license to operate forklifts and other machinery with wheels.

Qualified workers should have a license from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy or Mine Safety and Health Administration. These employees must be willing to learn and take direction, work independently in a chaotic environment, and be able to handle physical stressors effectively.

When hiring an individual to fill this position, the hiring manager needs to consider the candidate’s background working in a factory or industrial setting, licenses, and hand-eye coordination skills. These skills and abilities are vital to the position.

Those who specialize in a specific field or type of materials may be more qualified for certain positions. Specialization may have been acquired through on-the-job training at another job.

If you are looking to fill a material handler position, talk to the team at Bear Staffing. Our staffing firm provides job placement services for companies in the manufacturing and industrial industries, increasing the chances of you finding the right match.

Key Takeaways:
  • Material handlers must be in reasonable physical shape to perform at their job
  • Qualified workers must have an OSHA license or similar
  • Those who specialize in a certain field may be more qualified for some persons