(a) An employer may apply for a structural variance from a specific standard(s) in this subpart by filing a written application for such a variance with the local ES office serving the area in which the housing is located. This application must:
(1) Clearly specify the standard(s) from which the variance is desired;
(2) Adequately justify that the variance is necessary to obtain a beneficial use of an existing facility, and to prevent a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship; and
(3) Clearly set forth the specific alternative measures which the employer has taken to protect the health and safety of workers and adequately show that such alternative measures have achieved the same result as the standard(s) from which the employer desires the variance.
(b) Upon receipt of a written request for a variance under paragraph (a) of this section, the local ES office must send the request to the State office which, in turn, must forward it to the ETA Regional Administrator (RA). The RA must review the matter and, after consultation with OSHA, must either grant or deny the request for a variance.
(c) The variance granted by the RA must be in writing, must state the particular standard(s) involved, and must state as conditions of the variance the specific alternative measures which have been taken to protect the health and safety of the workers. The RA must send the approved variance to the employer and must send copies to OSHA's Regional Administrator, the Regional Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), and the appropriate State Workforce Agency (SWA) and the local ES office. The employer must submit and the local ES office must attach copies of the approved variance to each of the employer's job orders which is placed into intrastate or interstate clearance.
(d) If the RA denies the request for a variance, the RA must provide written notice stating the reasons for the denial to the employer, the appropriate SWA, and the local ES office. The notice also must offer the employer an opportunity to request a hearing before a Department of Labor Hearing Officer, provided the employer requests such a hearing from the RA within 30 calendar days of the date of the notice. The request for a hearing must be handled in accordance with the complaint procedures set forth at §§ 658.424 and 658.425 of this chapter.