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Off the Leash

by Hank

Spring is my favorite time of the year. Its nice to feel the warmth of the sun and I get to shed this winter coat and spread it to my love ones, clothes, furniture, car seats, etc. It warms my heart to know that a little piece of me goes home with staff at the end of the night.

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for a little rest. Laying in front of the door at the MLA Headquarters worrying about human resource issues and security is a tough job. It may look like I’m just sleeping in the sun but I’m deep in thought. Spring is a great time to vacation and just get the batteries charged back up. It is also a good opportunity to attend some classes and get in a first aid/CPR refresher.

By the time you read this, the Safety Rangers will already be on the road traversing this great state training all you fine readers in the art of first aid and CPR. These guys take this very seriously and appreciate all of those that attend. Also, on the calendar is a nice selection of ALP opportunities including classes on contracting, diversifying your business and updating your written safety plan. Finally, something we are proud to present is our Logger’s Expo on May 12th. This will be a lot of hands-on training with presenters from across the industry. I have offered to teach a course on technical training for proper burial of bones but I have not heard back on my time slot on the agenda. I do charge four ear scratches and three “good boys” so some negotiations may have to happen before I commit.

Also, on May 19th and 20th will be our Annual Meeting in Missoula. You all are cordially invited to attend as our faithful President Mr. Mike Newton will be finishing his term and handing the reins over to Karl Kanduch. It is because of people like Mike, Karl, Past Presidents and Directors that the MLA is what it is today. If you want to get involved, reach out to one of your chapter directors or safety rangers. Attend a meeting and voice your opinion. I have found that you can either throw the stick or fetch the stick. Without both actions, you are just sitting in a field staring at a stick looking about as intelligent as a cat!

We are in the time of the season that a lot of you are turning wrenches and getting ready for next season. For most of you and your crews, these tasks are out of normal and are a necessary evil every year. Anytime you do something out of the normal, the risk of an accident is increased. Make sure you keep a close eye on hazards and record and report any accidents. Unfortunately, we had a small accident here in the office last month. The office is split in two areas. To the west is Tim’s, Justin’s and Mom’s, I mean Coleen’s office, Roseanne is in the middle and on the east is where Mrs. Potts calls home. Well, unbeknownst to me someone left a smelly mess on Erica’s side of the building. Thankfully, we had a plan in place before hand and after some overreacting of unnamed staff members which included gagging and a few firm words, we were able to resolve the issue. Even a small accident like this involves some paperwork so make sure you are staying on top of things or you will have a smelly mess.

Lastly, I want to relay a story that one of the safety boys mentioned the other day while he was scratching my chin. Apparently, there was a gentleman that had sawed timber for most of his life. At the age of 651, (93 in human years), one of his last wishes was to put one more big tree on the ground. A friend of this man had the luck of logging in a dandy patch of oversized Doug Fir trees and on one winter morning, made this gentleman’s wish come true. With luck, we all become an old dog and I am just glad there are folks out there still granting wishes.

Well, I have a pressing issue that I need to wander down to the other end of the building to resolve. This feels like its going to involve a lot of paperwork so until next time…

Keep the treats comin’-Hank

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