(a) The Commissioner shall appoint a Director to assist him in administering the provisions of this Article and, through the Director, shall have authority to appoint, subject to Chapter 126 of the General Statutes of North Carolina, such officers, engineers, inspectors, and employees as he deems requisite for the administration of this Article; and to prescribe powers, duties, and responsibilities of all officers, engineers, inspectors, and employees engaged in the administration of this Article.
(b) All persons appointed as representatives of the Commissioner shall be qualified by practical experience in mine safety and health administration or practical experience in mining or by experience as a practical mining engineer or by education. All persons so appointed shall be physically able to perform their duties predicated on their work assignments, and all persons subject to making inspections, investigations, or participating in rescue and recovery work shall be examined prior to their employment and annually thereafter by a physician who shall certify their physical ability to perform their duties in mines subject to this Article. The fee for the required annual examination shall be satisfied as recommended by the Commissioner.
(c) The Commissioner, the Director, or any other officer, engineer, inspector, or employee engaged in the administration of this Article shall not, upon taking office or being employed, or at any other time during the term of his office or employment, have any affiliation, financial or otherwise, with any operating mining company, operator's association, or labor union. (1975, c. 206, s. 19.)