Mine Foreman Application, Exam, and Certification

The owner, operator or superintendent of a mining operation is required to employ a competent and practical person whose title shall be called mine foreman. Currently, persons seeking the certificate of competency must apply and successfully pass an exam administered by the department to become certified as a mine foreman in Tennessee.   

To obtain a Mine Foreman Application, please visit our Forms page.

Who must the owner, operator or superintendent employ to oversee mines?
  • In order to protect the health and safety of persons employed in or around mines and the mine property, the owner, operator or superintendent is required to employ a competent and practical overseer of each and every mine whose title shall be called mine foreman (Tenn. Code Ann. §59-4-301”).
  • The mine foreman is an agent or representative of the owner or operator of the mine in the discharge of the duties required of the foreman (Tenn. Code Ann. §59-4-302).
Who is authorized to develop, conduct and administer examinations for mine foreman applicants?
  • Currently, the department is authorized to develop, conduct, and administer an examination for certificates of qualification of mine foreman applicants (Tenn. Code Ann. §59-4-101).
  • Before the certificate is issued, the applicant must give satisfactory evidence of the applicant's good conduct, honesty, capability, and sobriety, and shall pay proper fees (Tenn. Code Ann. §59-4-101).
  • The Mine Safety Unit Director may examine any applicant for a temporary certificate of qualifications, upon request, and if such applicant is found to be competent, the applicant may be issued a temporary permit to act as mine foreman thereunder until the next mine foreman examination is held, when the temporary permit shall expire. Only one (1) such temporary permit shall be issued to any applicant. As a condition for the issuance of a temporary permit, the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative is authorized to examine applicants to determine if they are qualified to test for methane with an approved detector (Tenn. Code Ann. §59-4-201).
Are there penalties for failing to obtain a certificate of competency and noncompliance?
  • It is unlawful for any person to act as mine foreman unless the person is registered as a holder of competency certificate as required by this chapter.
  • Failure of the mine foreman to comply with the duties set forth herein is a Class B misdemeanor.
Are there accident reporting requirements?
  • The company shall immediately notify the department upon the discovery of fire or explosion in any mine. Whenever loss of life occurs by accident or explosion, the superintendent or foreman in charge shall give immediate notice to the department and to the coroner of the county in which the mine is situated. The coroner shall hold an inquest upon the body of the person whose death has been caused, and inquire carefully into the cause thereof, and shall return the findings and all testimony to the department (Tenn. Code Ann.§59-4-303).