Senate Confirms New Head of MSHA

Published November 21, 2017

​On Nov. 15, the U.S. Senate confirmed David G. Zatezalo, former president and CEO of the coal company Rhino Resources GP, LLC, to head federal MSHA as the assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. Senators voted along party lines, 52-46, in favor of Zatezalo, who retired as chairman of Rhino Resources in 2014. He previously served the company as chief operating officer.

During Zatezalo’s time with parent company Rhino Resources, Rhino Eastern’s Eagle #1 mine in West Virginia received two Potential Pattern of Violations notices from MSHA—one in November 2010 (PDF) and another in August 2011 (PDF).

According to President Trump’s nomination, Zatezalo began his mining career in 1974 with Consolidation Coal Company as a United Mine Workers of America laborer. He later worked as general superintendent for Southern Ohio Coal Company, as general manager of AEP’s Windsor Coal Company, as vice president of operations of AEP’s Appalachian Mining Operations, and in Australia as a general mine manager for Broken Hill Proprietary, Ltd. Zatezalo has a bachelor’s in mining engineering from West Virginia University and an MBA from Ohio University.