2014 Spring Newsletter









New Shop Update

RG Johnson is proud to say that the major construction and building turnover of our new shop facility in Waynesburg was completed in late January.  The building turnover marked the completion of ample space for office, maintenance and storage areas.  All of these elements are critical to ensure better care of our equipment moving forward.  However, that was only the beginning of the heavy lifting for our company.  The moving process, as all moving processes are,  was inconvenient and cumbersome at times.  However, this did not hinder the underground, carpenter and shaft crews from servicing our needs for project sites.  All of these crews have been fully operational in the new facility for the past couple months and continue to build out, finish and adjust the new facility so the facility can be as efficient as possible.  Besides the little adjustments to the building, landscaping should be completed this spring/summer at which point RG Johnson is looking to have a grand opening to the building.  We would like to thank all the parties involved in designing, building, moving and working in the facility along with all the parties in the field that make this shop facility necessary.  As new project sites come online in the coming months, the new shop facility will be able to provide efficient assistance to allow these project sites to function smoothly.


Responsibility and Accountability

Two very important factors in regard to a company’s safety program are responsibility and accountability.  To improve, an organization or an individual must account for their activities and accept responsibility for them, then take action to prevent further shortcomings.  We are all tasked with responsibilities throughout the day; workplace examinations, safe work procedures, hazard recognition and avoidance, and the requirement to follow company policies to name a few.  What is it that prevents us from ignoring our responsibilities?   Is it the fear of a violation, accident or discipline that prevents it?  Whatever your motivation, in order to improve on a safety record there must be clear guidelines on one’s responsibility and accountability for those guidelines being met.  This can only be done through good communication.  Communicate the expectations and correct any deficiencies.  Let’s face it’ it is human nature to take shortcuts.  We must resist the urge to do so and perform our duties to the best of our ability.  When there are inadequacies, they must be unmistakably defined and appropriate measures introduced to correct the situation and prevent further occurrences. 

Recently, a few shortcomings have come to light in a very big way in regard to the derrick.  Responsibilities were being ignored and we have dealt with the accountability aspect of the situation.  Improvements are being made to assist with communication, inspections and procedures.  Please understand that the only way we improve going forward is if we hold each other accountable for our daily actions.  Each and every one of us at RG Johnson  is empowered to speak when there are safety concerns that need addressing. That is very a very potent responsibility.  Be accountable for the safety of those around you.


Relieve Seasonal Allery Symptoms

In the spring and fall, tree grass and weed pollens become airborn and can result in sneezing, a runny nose and itchiness in your nose, throat and eyes.  Doctors call it seasonal allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis (when it affect the eyes), but most of us just call if hay fever.  Even when the pollen count is high and breezes are stiff, it’s possible to take steps to reduce symptoms of your seasonal allergies. Here are nine simple steps to keep your hay fever symptoms at bay:

1. Leave your shoes at the door.  When you come home from outside, taking your shoes off at the door lessens the amount of pollen you track into the house.  Wipe down your dog’s coat before he comes into the house, too, because pollen clings to fur.

2. Wash your hair before bed.  If you’re a morning shampoo person, consider switching to shampooing and showering before bed instead.  That way, pollen that collected on your hair during the day won’t rub off on your pillow.

3. Close up the house.  Open windows can be refreshing, but they let in pollen.  Close window and outside doors, especially on high-pollen days, and turn on the heat or the air-conditioner.

4. Use the “recirculate” option in the car.  Keep windows and sunroofs closed especially on high-pollen days, recirculate the air in your car instead of using the vent, which may let in pollen.  Use the air conditioner and adjust the temperature to your comfort.

5. Service the filters in your furnace and air conditioner.  Change them at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer, or more frequently if it seems to help.

6. Adjust your indoor humidity level.  If spores from mold cause your allergies, aim for a humidity level of less than 50%.  Consider buying a digital thermometer with a humidity gauge, available for about $40 or less.  You may need a humidifier to get a level lower that 50%.  Set up the dehumidifier on the main living level of the house, if your house has more than one story. 

7. Check the pollen count and plan accordingly.  If the predicted pollen count is high, try to plan your schedule accordingly.  Delay errands and exercise, if possible, until later in the day, when pollen counts are lower.    Pollen counts are usually highest between 10am and 4pm. 

8. Control your immediate environment.  If you know the exact tree, grass and weed pollen that affects you, try to remove them by replanting more tolerable types.  Hire someone to cut your lawn and don’t sit outdoors around freshly cut grass.

9. Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line.  Pollen can collect easily on clothing or bed linens left outside.


“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.
“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.

Plan Your Vacation Well to Get the Most Out of It.

Devise a strategy to avoid post-trip letdown.

If it lasted forever, it wouldn’t be a vacation.  Yet many people dread the return to their routine as strongly as they anticipated their getaway.  Call it the “post-vacation blues.”

We expect vacations to have an almost magical quality--and some people get very upset if things don’t go well,” said Barry Miller, a psychologist and professor at Pace University in New York.  “Even when it’s a positive vacation, going back to ordinary life can be depressing.”

A letdown after a vacation is much like the day after any big event.  The excitement is gone--but negatives can linger such as family squabbles, neglected projects at work, and an overextended bank account.

Miller says time off is vital to restoring the human body and spirit.  But people too often believe when they climb aboard a plane, whatever is bothering them on the ground will dissolve into thin air.

He sees this most frequently in troubled marriages when  the spouses embark on a second honeymoon.  “When couples go on vacation, there’s a tendency to believe all their problems will go always,” he said.  “When they come back and nothing’s changed, there’s a sense of disappointment.”

But for Linda Newman of Silver Spring, Maryland, coming home from vacation is a positive thing.  She luxuriates in a hot shower.  She rejoices in sleeping in her own bed.  Newman and her husband, Michael,  sit together and look at the pictures of their trip and relive the happy moments. “There’s never a letdown because we know it’s not the last vacation,” she said.  “We immediately start planning the next trip.”

Plan Your return before you leave.

Some of the most effective steps should be taken before you pack you bags. 

For example, be sure to wrap up important tasks at work so you won’t come home to a a crisis.

Set yourself up for a successful trip by researching the place you’re visiting.  You will be far less likely to miss what might be a fabulous experience--and lamenting you missed it after you return home.  “We really plan our trips so we have no regrets about not having seen the things we want,” Newman said. “But even if we do, we do know we can always go back again.”

Miller said cramming too much activity into too little time can trigger sadness about not getting enough rest.  But he also said going on a trip without some kind of game plan can spur remorse. 

Differing Vacation Needs

Miller said different people have varying needs for time away from jobs or other obligations.  That means one person might be pining to go home, while another person might feel shortchanged because the time off wasn’t longer.

He point to a couple who has a vacation home in the Hamptons, the playground of the East Coast elite, in Long Island, New York  They’ve arrived at a happy compromise.  “She has a greater need for time off, so frequently she’ll go a day ahead or stay a day longer,” he said.

Miller also said short vacations can be just as refreshing as longer trips.  The strategy also can be less costly, lessening the chances of feeling blue when you come home because you’ve parted with too much green.  “Some people feel guilty about spending money on themselves,” he said.  “Others don’t mind spending it, but find it causes them problems later.”

Still it doesn’t cost anything to read about interesting placed and begin gathering travel brochures.

Lifelines - Spring 2014.



Welcome New Employees

A big RG Johnson welcome to our newest employees:

Andrew McCullom of Waynesburg, PA

Ryan Patterson of Holbrock, PA

Eric Costello of Spraggs, PA

Albert Holp III of Brownsville, PA

Devin Lemasters of Fairmont, WV

Isaac Keenan of Fairmont, WV


While cleaning those kitchen cabinets out, gather these ingredients and bake up some of these delicious cookies.  Makes Spring cleaning a little better!
While cleaning those kitchen cabinets out, gather these ingredients and bake up some of these delicious cookies. Makes Spring cleaning a little better!

Recipe Corner

Spring Cleaning Cookies

Ingredients:  *   1/2 cp butter, softened  *  1/2 cp shortening  *  1 cp white sugar  *  1 cp light brown sugar *  2 eggs  *  2 tbs evaporated milk  *  2 tsp vanilla extract  *  2 cps all-purpose flour  *  1 tsp baking powder  *  1 tsp baking soda  *  1/2 tsp salt  *  1 1/2 cp rolled oats  *  1 1/2 cp semisweet   *  chocolate chips  *  1 cp flaked coconut  *  1 cp chopped pecans 


Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets. 

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the evaporated milk and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture.  Mix in the oats, chocolate chips, coconut and pecans.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Cookies should by spaced about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.  Cool slightly on cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.



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