Sunday 23 February 2014


(Written Feb 5th 2014)
 But Oh Thank GOD, they were not!

...WIDC - early days...early snow.
For those of you who have been following this blog, you may have noticed there is a “logbuilder” thread woven through most of our postings that focuses (some would say whines), on how alien we find the culture of commercial construction compared to the business-by-a-handshake and devil-may-care-anti-establishment roots by which we have defined ourselves.

The paper-work and formalized procedures have been particularly hard for us to adapt to and accept; QC, Safety Manuals, LEEDS documentation, chain of custody, Stat decs (seriously….even stat decs piss us off!). 

Don't get me wrong - we are not cavalier about safety and procedures – far from it; we are very pro-active in improving our hands-on procedures and upgrading our practical skills such as the advanced rigging course we took last April from ITI (IndustrialTraining International). It’s all a part of being on top of our game. 

But - Oh the PAPER WORK!!!! It is a challenge to get any work done and to get it done in a timely and cost effective fashion. Are we builders or are we pen pushers?

A view that did not exist before - and we got to see it first!

But yesterday we had good reason to better appreciate the intent and function of the procedures and processes that are required of us after a CLT panel that we were craning onto the sixth floor of the Wood Innovations DesignCentre began to oscillate as it cleared the sixth floor, stressing the lifting eyes to the breaking point. 

Experience, extensive training and quick thinking by crane operator Jesse Bird and crew-boss Christian Bur averted what could have been a fatal accident or a costly incident.

An unusually heavy snow load early in the year.
Immediately after the wreck was averted, our crew and PCL initiated the post-incident procedures together and it gave us the opportunity to experience how smoothly these processes are implemented at a well-run job site and to better appreciate the intent of these documents. They are intended to make one think, anticipate and if necessary analyse. 

Don’t get us wrong – we have not had a Damascene epiphany about paper work and admin! It stalls progress, adds costs and too often is imposed for compliance sake only. (Some Contractors walk the walk and others talk the talk - and PCL walks their talk.)

To conclude – we have always been proud that some of the most talented, interesting and nicest people on the planet are a part of the Nicola LogWorks crew. Today we are proud of how they averted a crisis and grateful that we can say, “no-one was hurt – not a hair on their heads was touched”. Well done guys!

This is what PCL said about our crew:


Thanks for your immediate focus on this incident and the prompt preliminary report. I agree that your team should be commended for the, quick, calm and controlled manner in which they handled this incident, another example of the professional tradesman you have employed. 

Thanks again

The Parking Lot is Empty!Just three more pieces to install. ( Feb 22nd 2014) From left to right back row: Daryle Shackelly, Robin Meyer, Dylan Sparshu, John Henry Ramsey, Jesse Bird, Dexter Devorkin. Front row: Glen Sparshu, Owen Gregory, Jean Belleau, Jochen Wagenblast, Daniel Meiselbach and Andreas Fricke (team leader and principle of Big Horn Timber Frames). Not in the picture; Christian Bur - (photographer), Fred Provost  and Jay McKimm

 Contributed by "The Log Builder's Wife"