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The quality of sawn timber is at the heart of Marko’s work

Name: Marko Rautiola
Position: Fresh-sorting worker
Education: Agricultural school, qualification in sawmilling
Annual rings at Junnikkala: Worked at a sawmill for 25 years, at Junnikkala since 2008
Roots: Born in Pyhäranta, lived most of his life in Oulainen
Main tool: Computer
Junnikkala’s best-known product : Plank and board
Wooden eye: The woods are a sight for sore eyes, but I also have an eye for handsome wooden furniture
Motivation at work: Great atmosphere

When Marko Rautiola comes to work at the Oulainen sawmill, he puts on his protective equipment, checks the shift lists and heads on to his own workplace.

”We have such a good atmosphere here, that it is always nice to come to work”, says Marko.

Marko’s daily work consists of fresh-sorting and stripping of sawn timber. It takes place in the sawmill’s combiplant, where the timber is brought in after sawing and interim storage. At this stage, the sawn timber is inspected and sorted according to dimensions. The pieces are then assembled on top of the strips for drying and marking.

The timber travels in the plant on conveyors from start to finish. It is the worker’s responsibility to take care of the operation of the machines, to monitor the quality and to deal with any abnormal situations.

“Quality control is an important part of every work phase, and it starts right from the end of the log”, states Marko.

3-4 employees work in the same shift. Work is being done in a loud environment, and conversations are taking place with radio-equipped hearing protection. Nevertheless, humor is present in the loud uproar.

“If there happens to be younger people in the same shift, they won’t always be able to keep up with us older worker’s stories”, Marko says with a smile.

As a countryside lad, Marko attended agricultural school and also worked in construction. In 1995 he joined Pyyn Saha ja Höyläämö Oy. When the sawmill was acquired by Junnikkala Oy, Marko continued as a former employee in a familiar workplace.

The operation of the sawmill has become very familiar during his long career, but there has been changes over the years as well. The most notable one is the lightened physical workload due to mechanization of the work.

“In the early days, timber was moved on the conveyor table by hand. It was hard work, and kept me out of the risk of getting overweight then.”

Today, the job requires the ability and know-how to operate and control machinery, instead of manual labor. Practical work teaches the worker, but Marko has also taken advantage of the opportunity offered by the employer for education and completed a vocational degree in the sawmill industry.

Marko enjoys spending his time off in nature. The forest is a place for him to relax, go for a walk, and to pick mushrooms and berries. Marko also enjoys fishing, and hunting has become familiar too. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look a little further away from the familiar landscapes.

“In the summer I usually head north to go hiking. We have our own group with whom we make a trip every year.”