Today is National Miners Day − a day to recognize and appreciate the nearly 300,000 men and women who work in America’s mines.
I’m proud to say that I have been a miner and worked with miners for most of the past four decades, as a laborer, foreman, manager, and, eventually, CEO. Now, as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, I am honored to salute the miners of America on behalf of the agency that strives to keep them safe.
Miners are at work in every state, extracting coal, gold, salt, limestone, granite, copper, iron, zinc, gravel, and dozens of other essential stones and minerals. They supply the raw materials for much of the energy we depend on as well as our roads, our electronics, and many household products that we use every day (even toothpaste).
Congress designated December 6 as National Miners Day in 2009 to recognize those contributions. At the Mine Safety and Health Administration, we honor America’s miners every day by working to keep them safe. I will work with all stakeholders to instill a culture of safety at all mines.
David Zatezalo is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.