National Miners Day – December 6

Each year on Dec. 6, we celebrate National Miners Day to recognize and applaud the skill, dedication and hard work miners put into providing many of the products essential to fulfilling America’s most vital needs. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to every working miner in our nation.

From the coal that provides power for the lights we use to the copper used in our electronics and cookware, miners provide the necessary minerals to make the products integral to our daily lives while sometimes facing hazardous conditions in the workplace.

Having worked in the mining industry for the majority of my life, I fully recognize the hazards that confined spaces, mobile equipment and complex electrical equipment, just to name a few, can present to working miners.

This is why my agency, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), exists. MSHA enforces safety and health standards and regulations—at all American coal mines, quarries, copper and other metal mines, and many other facilities—to protect miners from the hazards they face each day. Our aim is to see every miner go home safe and healthy after every shift.

Keeping all miners safe means continued production of the indispensable products we use every day. Every time you drink from a glass, thank a miner. Every time you ride a bike or take a drive in your car, thank a miner. Miners are the true backbone of not just our nation’s mining industry but also the many industries that could not operate without the raw materials that miners produce.

So, on this National Miners Day, please join me in recognizing, honoring and thanking miners for their steady and courageous role in role in providing the products that make so much of our daily life possible.

David Zatezalo is the Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health at the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Follow MSHA on Twitter at @MSHA_DOL.