MSHA nominee Zatezalo testifies before Senate

By |  October 9, 2017

David Zatezalo. Photo courtesy of the Wheeling News-Register.

David Zatezalo, the Trump administration’s nominee to head the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Among the questions Zatezalo responded to were why Rhino Resources, the company he served as chairman in 2011, received warning letters from MSHA about a pattern of violations at one of the company’s West Virginia mines.

“I think management of that particular group at that particular site was not doing what they should have been doing,” Zatezalo says, according to the Wheeling News-Register. “I was not proud we were designated as a (pattern of violation) mine. I did not try to lawyer up and stop things from happening.

“I felt if you hadn’t done your job, we should be big kids and deal with it as such,” Zatezalo adds.

In addition, Zatezalo testified that the mining industry is as safe today as it ever has been, the Wheeling News-Register reports. He recognized, too, that further progress in mine safety must be made, advocating for mine safety technology such as proximity detection products that are mandated on continuous mining equipment.

“I look forward to working hard and making that a reality,” he says.

According to the Wheeling News-Register, Zatezalo testified along with nominees for administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division and general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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