(a) A public employer affected by an occupational safety and health standard promulgated
under this Act may apply to the Director for a permanent variance from that standard. The form and manner of the application shall be as provided in rules.
(b) Employees affected by a standard from which their employer has applied for a variance
under this Section shall be given notice of the employer's application and an opportunity
to participate in a hearing on the application.
(c) The Director shall issue a permanent variance if he or she determines on the record,
after opportunity for an inspection where appropriate as determined by the Department
and a hearing, that the employer has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence
that the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed
to be used by the employer will provide employment and places of employment to its
employees which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if the employer
complied with the standard. The variance shall prescribe the conditions the employer must maintain, and the
practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which the employer must adopt
and utilize, to the extent they differ from the standard in question.
(d) A variance issued under this Section may be modified or revoked upon application
by the employer, by the employees, or by the Director on his or her own motion, in
the manner prescribed for the issuance of a variance under this Section at any time
after 6 months from the issuance of the variance.
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