The 2006 Daniel C. Jackling Award
Awarded To: David D. Lauriski
"For his leadership in modernizing mine safety practices, for instilling a culture of safety and health within the mining community, for promoting the application of innovative mine rescue technologies; and for his lecture"
Dave D. Lauriski, a third generation coal miner, has been active in the mining industry for 34 years. At present, he is the Executive Director of Health and Safety Services for the John T. Boyd Company, a world-wide mining and geologic consulting firm.
Previous to joining the Boyd Company in December, 2004, Lauriski served under President George W. Bush and U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao as Assistant Secretary of Labor (May, 2001 to December, 2004), for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Dave was responsible for leading and managing the MSHA and for the administration of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 whose mission is to protect the health and safety of miners throughout the United States. During his tenure mining fatalities dropped by 37%, from 85 in 2000 to 54 in 2004, while incidents causing reportable injuries dropped 20%. Other accomplishments during Dave’s service were: improvements in the Agency’s employee injury rates, including more than a 40% reduction in lost time incidents; leading the successful recovery of 9 miners trapped for 77 hours in an underground coal mine in Pennsylvania; implementation of several accident prevention initiatives which were designed to assist miners and the mining industry achieve improved safety performance; implementation of the Professional Miner recognition program; implementation of the first ever alliance agreements between the Agency and certain of its stakeholders including the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association, the Industrial Minerals Association of North America, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the National Safety Council, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Ironworkers of America, the National Mining Association, and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association; and the signing of two historic agreements (2002 and 2004) with the State Administration of Work Safety in the People’s Republic of China to provide assistance and cooperation in improving health and safety in China’s coal mining industry.
Prior to his service with MSHA, Lauriski spent 30 years in the coal mining industry focusing on health and safety for much of his career. At the time of his leaving “active operations” in 1999, he was the General Manager of Energy West Mining Company, a large underground coal mining company in Utah. Under his leadership, Energy West was recognized for its position as one of the largest underground coal producers in the United States, and as one of the safest companies in the mining industry.
Dave is recognized throughout the world for his leadership skills and safety expertise. In 1994 the United States mining industry selected him to represent its interest in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Labor Organization during development of worldwide mine health and safety standards. The culmination of his work was the U.S. Senate’s ratification of Convention 176 in September, 2000. He has also worked closely with the governments of India, Ukraine, Peru and China to assist in their efforts to improve mine safety and health.
Among his more notable achievements, Dave has been awarded the Highest Degree of Safety in the U.S. by the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals, the President’s Citation for his achievements toward a safer mining industry by the Society of Mining Engineers, the Albert C. Shoemaker award from Penn State University, and most recently the Professional Safety Person of the Year award by the Institute for Mining Health and Safety Research.
Dave has served as Chairman of the Utah Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining; a board member of the Utah Mining Association; Chairman of the Coal Mine Safety Committee for the former American Mining Congress; and Chairman of the Safety Committee for the Utah Coal Operators. He holds certifications as a Mine Safety Professional and as an underground and surface mine foreman.
The Daniel C. Jackling Award, established in 1953, and funded by AIME, is presented for significant contributions to technical progress in mining, geology, and geophysics.