Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry representatives visited a Westmoreland County land-clearing company to commend its managers and workers – including those represented by three unions – for their implementation of innovative safety policies that keep workers safe on the job. Right of Way Clearing & Maintenance is one of seven employers recognized with a 2023 Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence.
“An employer has no greater responsibility than the safety of its workers, and the Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting Pennsylvania employers in their efforts to ensure that every worker returns home to his or her family at the end of a productive day,” L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker said. “The Governor’s Awards for Safety Excellence are a recognition of those employers who prioritize safety in such a way that it is embedded in the workplace culture. These are the employers that empower their workers to collaborate with management on the task of evaluating safety risks and mitigating them. That work is never done, but we all have excellent examples to follow thanks to employers like Right of Way Clearing & Maintenance, Inc.”
Right of Way Clearing & Maintenance, Inc. is a specialized land-clearing company focused on creating pathways for natural gas pipelines through the removal of trees and brush in challenging terrain. The company employs 46 workers, including members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 66; Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 1058; and Teamsters, Local 697.
“We are thrilled to be receiving this award,” said Rick Brown, Right of Way Clearing and Maintenance’s Chief Executive Officer. “This couldn’t have been achieved without our employees’ dedication to always maintaining a safe working environment.”
The company’s safety initiatives that earned its GASE recognition include:
- Before each job, the company conducts a thorough assessment of slope characteristics and ground conditions to ensure worker safety during operation of equipment.
- For chainsaw operators, the company ensures professional timber cutting competency through written tests and onsite checklists.
- The company has implemented a comprehensive Fatigue Risk Management Program (FRMP) across all employee categories, limiting maximum duty duration to 10 hours and consecutive workdays to six.
- The company invests in skill development with a multi-level training program covering chainsaw safety, storm damage response, forwarder and skidder operations, ATV & gentle logging, and clearing-saw techniques.