(225 ILCS 710/19) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 4226)
    Sec. 19. Mine foreman; appointment. Each superintendent shall appoint a person who shall be in charge of the development of the underground workings of all mines under the supervision of such superintendent and who shall direct the work of the people employed underground therein, who shall be designated as the "mine foreman": provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the superintendent of any mine from also filling the position of the mine foreman upon obtaining a certificate of competency as hereinafter provided.
    Such mine foreman shall be personally in charge of the development of the underground workings and shall personally direct the work of the people underground, except, that if more than one mine is under the supervision of the superintendent appointing such mine foreman, then such mine foreman may be placed in charge of all such mines and may appoint competent assistant mine foremen and delegate to them such of his or her duties or personal supervision and direction as are warranted by the circumstances.
    It shall be unlawful for the operator of any mine to have in his or her service as mine foreman, any person who does not hold a certificate of competency issued by the Mining Board of the Department of Natural Resources, provided however, that in case an emergency or exigency arises by virtue of which it is impossible for an operator to obtain the services of a certified mine foreman, a trustworthy and experienced person may be appointed temporarily as mine foreman for the duration of such emergency or exigency. Each applicant for a certificate of competency as a mine foreman shall produce evidence satisfactory to the board that he or she is a citizen of the United States, is at least 24 years of age, has had at least 4 years' practical mining experience, and is of good repute and temperate habits; provided, however, that graduation from an accredited engineering school shall be equivalent to 2 of the 4 years' required mining experience. Any applicant who is not a graduate of an accredited engineering school shall also pass an examination as to experience in mines and in the management of people, knowledge of mine machinery and appliances, the principles of ventilation and of first aid to the injured and of mine rescue methods and appliances. An applicant who is a graduate of an accredited engineering school may not be required to take such examination.
    Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a certificate of competency shall be issued to all mine foremen who, on the effective date of this Act, are employed by any mining companies as mine foremen.
    The failure of a superintendent to appoint a mine foreman as provided in this Section or the neglect or failure of a superintendent to appoint another in his or her place, in the event of said mine foreman vacating or losing his or her position for any cause, shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor, and shall be punished as hereinafter provided. Such appointment shall be made in writing and it shall be the duty of such superintendent to post a notice of such appointment or re-appointment immediately after the same shall have been made, in at least 2 conspicuous places about said mine and notice of such appointment or any reappointment shall be mailed immediately thereafter to the inspector of mines.
    The mine foreman shall see that the regulations provided herein for insuring the safety of all people employed in such mine are carried out; he or she immediately report to the superintendent of the mine any violations or infringements of this Act observed by him or her within the mine, and shall take immediate steps to remedy the same. He or she shall warn all employees of danger to life or limb observed by him or her within the mine and shall not knowingly permit any person to work in an unsafe place, except for the purpose of making it safe or when work in such a place is necessary and unavoidable; and shall supervise the miners in the performance of their work.
    It shall be the duty of the mine foreman to see that the number and identity of people going underground on every shift is established by the introduction and maintenance of an efficient life check system.
(Source: P.A. 89-455, eff. 2-7-96.)