2015 Spring Newsletter








River View Coal job site at sunset.
River View Coal job site at sunset.

Jobs Well Don

Our RG Johnson crews recently finished up three shaft jobs. The Marshall 4 West Mine in Mt. Morris, PA, Federal #2 in Blacksville, WV and  River View Coal Company in Waverly, KY.  All three jobs were done on time and our customers were well pleased with the final results.  Thanks to all our crews for their hard work and dedication to a job well done!


Coal Mine Dust Samples Indicate Compliance with Rule is Highly Acheivable

     Arlington, Va. - Eight months after implementation of the final rule to prevent black lung disease by lowering miner’s exposure to harmful coal dust, sampling by mine operators and Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors indicates that compliance with the rule’s tougher requirements is highly achievable.   

     "This is very good news for coal miners and validates the ability of mine operators to maintain the low dust levels to meet the new standards,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.  This news was delivered Thursday morning at a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. 

     Last April, MSHA  published a final rule to lower miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust in all underground and surface coal mines.  From August 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015 -- during the first phase of the rule -- more than 41,000 dust samples were collected, and sampling results show that about 99 percent are in compliance.  

     Furthermore, the yearly average of respirable dust levels of designated mining occupations in underground coal mines dropped to a historic low level in 2014, and have dropped each year since MSHA launched its “End Black Lung -- Act Now” campaign in 2009.  “Better dust controls systems are in place than ever before for our nation’s coal miners,” said Main.  “This rule is working.”

      Of the total respirable dust samples collected in the eight-month period, 30,725 were taken from underground mines with 439 of those sample (or 1.4 percent) exceeding compliance levels used to determine if a violation has occurred.  The remaining samples were taken at surface mine areas.  Of those, 10,596 samples, (or 99.7 percent) met compliance levels.

      The final rule lowers the concentration of coal dust that miners breathe; improves sampling practices to better reflect actual working conditions to protect all miners from overexposures; and makes use of cutting-edge technology developed to provide real-time information about dust levels.  It also allows miners and operators to identify problems and make necessary adjustments; and required immediate corrective action for excessive levels of dust.  The rule has a phase-in over two-years period to give the industry the time it needs to adjust to the new requirements, acquire monitoring equipment, and obtain compliance assistance from MSHA.

      Prolonged exposure to respirable coal mine dust causes lung disease, such as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, emphysema and progressive massive fibrosis.  These diseases, collectively referred to as black lung, can lead to permanent disability and death.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates more than 76,000 miners have died since 1968 as the result of the disease, and more than 45 billion in federal compensation benefits have been paid out to coal miners disabled by black lung and their survivors.  Evidence indicates that miners, including young miners, continue to be diagnosed with the disease.

 MSHA News Release:(04/23/2015)


Sleep Myths & Facts-Washington Health System

Just as exercise and nutrition are essential for optimal health and happiness, so is sleep.  The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight.  No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!  Although individual needs may vary, adults typically need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Many have misconceptions and believe false myths about sleep.  Here are a few popular myths and facts about sleep:

 Myth: I don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep during the week.  I’ll just catch up with my sleep on the weekend.

Fact:  The best way to maintain a proper sleep schedule is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day--that includes the weekends!  A consistent sleep schedule will help you fall asleep faster at night and can help feel more refreshed in the morning.

 Myth:  A glass of wine at night will help me sleep better.

Fact:  While it may appear that your nightly glass of wine helps you relax and fall asleep quicker, you are essentially robbing yourself of good, quality sleep.  Alcohol actually increases the number of times you awaken during the night which disrupts the quality and depth of your sleep cycles.

 Myth:  Insomnia is not a serious medical condition and has no real consequences.

Fact:  Insomnia can be a serious medical condition characterized by the 4 main symptoms of difficulty falling asleep, waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep, waking up too early in the morning, or feeling tired upon waking.  Several consequences of insomnia are decreased work performance, depression or mood changes, and increased risk of automotive crashes.  If you find yourself dealing with insomnia more than a few times a week or it starts to impact your daily life, it’s time to see a physician.

 Myth:  Snoring is annoying, but it doesn’t have any real medical implications.

Fact:  Many people snore and for a majority of these people, it’s relatively harmless.  For some people, snoring can be a sign of a serious medical condition.  Sleep apnea is a condition in which there is a decrease or complete stoppage of breathing while sleeping.  People with sleep apnea may snore loudly, and the snores are punctuated with long pause or gasps.  Sleep apnea can be a very dangerous situation, putting a great deal of strain on your cardiovascular system.  A physician can help to diagnose and recommend a course of treatment to help someone afflicted with sleep apnea.

 Myth:  If I wake up during the night, I should stay in bed until I fall back asleep.

Fact:  If you find yourself unable to fall back asleep after 15-20 minutes, instead of tossing and turning and getting frustrated, your best bet is to get up and go into a different room.  Turn on a soft light and read a book or watch television until you start to feel sleepy again.  Try to avoid watching the clock and calculating how many hours of sleep you have left.  Once you start to feel tired again, you can return to your bed.

 Myth:  Exercising right before bed will make me tired, and help me sleep.

Fact:  Exercising can be helpful for good sleep, especially when done regularly in the morning or afternoon and not to too close to bedtime.  If you don’t exercise regularly, add good sleep to a long list of reasons why you should take up the practice.  Try to plan for at least 3 hours in between the end of your exercise session and your bed time.  Exercise will raise your body temperature and in order to sleep, your body temperature needs time to adjust back to normal.  To ensure you get a good night’s sleep - keep a regular sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, eat right and get regular exercise, get anxiety and stress in check, and know when to see your doctor regarding your sleeping issues.


New News!

Elliott and Brandi Clark welcomed a baby boy, Leyton Warren, to their growing family. Congratulations to everyone!

 Joe Cook, son of Jamie and Paul Cook is graduating Trinity High School and heading to Penn State to study Civil Engineering. Way to go Joe!

 Travis and Kristy Vliet are proud to announce that their son, Logan is graduating West Greene High School and will be attending IUP in the fall for Physical Education. Congrats Logan!

 Congratulations to Noel Barnhart, daughter of Troy Barnhart, she will be a proud graduate of Wash High!


Pineapple is in Season!  Enjoy!
Pineapple is in Season! Enjoy!

Recipe Corner: Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Burgers


6 Pineapple Rings 1/2 in. thick

6 slices Pepper Jack cheese

6 Hamburger Buns

2 lbs. Ground Chicken

3 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp. Chili Powder

1/2 Tsp. Seasoning Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Clove Garlic, minced

Optional: sliced Red Onion, Chipotle Mayo


1. Combine the ground chicken, soy sauce, paprika, chili powder, seasoning salt, cumin, and garlic in a large bowl.  Lightly mix with your hands and divide into 6 large even balls.  Form patties, making them slightly thinner in the middle for even cooking.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes (if you have time).

2. Preheat the grill to medium heat.  Coat grates lightly with oil.  Grill burgers over medium heat about 6 minutes per side or until done.  The burgers will flip easily when they are done.  Top with cheese for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time to melt.  Remove to a plate and cover with foil to rest.

3. Add the pineapple rings to the grill cook for about 2 minutes per side.

4. To assemble the burgers; add the pineapple rings to each burger, top with onion and chipotle may or other desired toppings.


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