(a) Basic requirement for private employers. If you are a private
employer and wish to keep records in a different manner from the manner
prescribed by the provisions of this article, you may submit a variance
petition to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and
Health (Assistant Secretary), U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
20210. You can obtain a variance only if you can show that your
alternative recordkeeping system:
(1) Collects the same information as this article requires;
(2) Meets the purposes of the Act; and
(3) Does not interfere with the administration of the Act.
(b) Implementation of the basic requirement for private employers.
(1) What do I need to include in my variance petition?
You must include the following items in your petition:
(A) Your name and address;
(B) A list of the State(s) where the variance would be used;
(C) The address(es) of the establishment(s) involved;
(D) A description of why you are seeking a variance;
(E) A description of the different recordkeeping procedures you propose
(F) A description of how your proposed procedures will collect the same
information as would be collected by the provisions of this article and
achieve the purpose of the Act; and
(G) A statement that you have informed your employees of the petition
by giving them or their authorized representative a copy of the petition
and by posting a statement
summarizing the petition in the same way as notices are posted under
Title 8 Section 340.
(2) How will the Assistant Secretary handle my variance petition?
The Assistant Secretary will take the following steps to process your
(A) The Assistant Secretary will offer your employees and their
authorized representatives an opportunity to submit written data, views,
and arguments about your variance petition.
(B) The Assistant Secretary may allow the public to comment on your
variance petition by publishing the petition in the Federal Register. If
the petition is published, the notice will establish a public comment
period and may include a schedule for a public meeting on the petition.
(C) After reviewing your variance petition and any comments from your
employees and the public, the Assistant Secretary will decide whether or
not your proposed recordkeeping procedures will meet the purposes of the
Act, will not otherwise interfere with the Act, and will provide the same
information as required by the provisions of this article provide. If your
procedures meet these criteria, the Assistant Secretary may grant the
variance subject to such conditions as he or she finds appropriate.
(D) If the Assistant Secretary grants your variance petition, OSHA will
publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce the variance. The
notice will include the practices the variance allows you to use, any
conditions that apply, and the reasons for allowing the variance.
(3) If I apply for a variance, may I use my proposed recordkeeping
procedures while the Assistant Secretary is processing the variance
No. Alternative recordkeeping practices are only allowed after the
variance is approved. You must comply with the provisions of this article
while the Assistant Secretary is reviewing your variance petition.
(4) If I have already been cited by the Division of Occupational Safety
and Health for not following the provisions of this article, will my
variance petition have any effect on the citation and penalty?
No. In addition, the Assistant Secretary may elect not to review your
variance petition if it includes an element for which you have been cited
and the citation is still under review by a court, an Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ), or the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals
(5) If I receive a variance, may the Assistant Secretary revoke the
variance at a later date?
Yes. The Assistant Secretary may revoke your variance if he or she has
good cause. The procedures revoking a variance will follow the same
process as are used for reviewing variance petitions, as outlined in
Section 14300.38(b)(2). Except in cases of willfulness or where necessary
for public safety, the Assistant Secretary will:
(A) Notify you in writing of the facts or conduct that may warrant
revocation of your variance; and
(B) Provide you, your employees, and authorized employee
representatives with an opportunity to participate in the revocation