(a) Application for variance. Any employer, or class of employers, desiring a variance authorized by section 6(d) of the Act may file a written application containing the information specified in paragraph (b) of this section, with the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210.
(b) Contents. An application filed pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall include:
(1) The name and address of the applicant;
(2) The address of the place or places of employment involved;
(3) A description of the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used by the applicant:
(4) A statement showing how the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used would provide employment and places of employment to employees which are as safe and healthful as those required by the standard from which a variance is sought:
(5) A certification that the applicant has informed his employees of the application by
(i) Giving a copy thereof to their authorized representative;
(ii) Posting a statement giving a summary of the application and specifying where a copy may be examined, at the place or places where notices to employees are normally posted (or in lieu of such summary, the posting of the application itself); and
(iii) By other appropriate means;
(6) Any request for a hearing, as provided in this part; and
(7) A description of how employees have been informed of the application and of their right to petition the Assistant Secretary for a hearing.
(8) Where the requested variance would be applicable to employment or places of employment in more than one State, including at least one State with a State plan approved under section 18 of the Act, and involves a standard, or portion thereof, identical to a State standard effective under such plan:
(i) A side-by-side comparison of the Federal standard, or portion thereof, involved with the State standard, or portion thereof, identical in substance and requirements;
(ii) A certification that the employer or employers have not filed for such variance on the same material facts for the same employment or place of employment with any State authority having jurisdiction under an approved plan over any employment or place of employment covered in the application; and
(iii) A statement as to whether, with an identification of, any citations for violations of the State standard, or portion thereof, involved have been issued to the employer or employers by any of the State authorities enforcing the standard under a plan, and are pending.
(c) Interim order -
(1) Application. An application may also be made for an interim order to be effective until a decision is rendered on the application for the variance filed previously or concurrently. An application for an interim order may include statements of fact and arguments as to why the order should be granted. The Assistant Secretary may rule ex parte upon the application.
(2) Notice of denial of application. If an application filed pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section is denied, the applicant shall be given prompt notice of the denial, which shall include, or be accompanied by; a brief statement of the grounds therefor.
(3) Notice of the grant of an interim order. If an interim order is granted, a copy of the order shall be served upon the applicant for the order and other parties, and the terms of the order shall be published in the Federal Register. It shall be a condition of the order that the affected employer shall give notice thereof to affected employees by the same means to be used to inform them of an application for a variance.