U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Eryn Witcher
Phone: (202) 693-4676
Released Friday, November 12, 2004
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Dave D. Lauriski Announces
His Plans for Departure
Leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments and strong safety record
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced today the resignation of Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Dave D. Lauriski. Lauriski is departing his post at the Department of Labor on Friday, November 19, 2004.
"As Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, Dave Lauriski has been an outstanding leader who brought with him 30 years of coal mining experience, tested safety management skills, and profound respect for the dignity of coal miners. Under Dave's leadership, MSHA has achieved record-low mining industry fatalities and injuries, proactive safety initiatives that will save more lives in the future, and a focused MSHA better able to serve and protect America's mine industry workers," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The general American public probably remembers Dave most for his fierce determination to bring the Quecreek miners to safety and be reunited with their families. His compassion and concern for the nation's miners stems from his own experience as a son of a coal miner and he will be greatly missed."
David D. Lauriski is the seventh Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 9, 2001. Under this Administration, the mining industry has achieved the lowest number of mine fatalities since statistics were first recorded in 1910. Mining fatalities dropped 34 percent between 2000 and 2003.
"I am truly grateful for the trust and support provided to me by President Bush and Secretary Chao during my tenure at the Mine Safety and Health Administration. When I was appointed assistant secretary of MSHA, both the President and the Secretary set goals and expectations for America's miners. I am proud to say that we have made substantial progress in moving toward those objectives.
"The President and Secretary indicated that part of their expectations were that I lead MSHA toward a culture of improved safety and health for the mining community. We have taken tremendous steps forward in the areas of health and safety, fulfilling the mandate from this Administration.
"At MSHA, we have remained committed to seeing that every miner goes home healthy and safe at the end of each shift. And now, due to personal circumstances, I am heading home at the end of my shift at MSHA to devote more time to my family in Colorado."