Custom «Labor and Employement Law» Essay Paper Sample
OSHA provides uniform and comprehensive standards that are used to protect employees against safety and health hazards that they may be exposed to at their workplaces. Apart from determining the health and safety standards, OSHA also does routine inspections of workplaces to ensure that employers comply with the health and safety regulations (Twomey, 2009, p. 57). Failure to comply with the health and safety standards set by OSHA attracts penalties which are usually costly to the employer. In order to avoid being penalized, employers who are not able to comply with the OSHA regulations usually request for variances.
Employers normally request for temporary variances if they are not able to fully comply with a new standard or regulation in time. Thus, the purpose of a temporary variance is to give an employer ample time to implement a new health and safety standard (Twomey, 2009, p. 62). An employer or industry can request for a temporary variance due to the following reasons. First, a temporary variance can be requested if the employer lacks professional personnel to implement the new regulations. Second, an employer who lacks the materials or equipment needed to implement new regulations can request for a temporary variance (Twomey, 2009, p. 63). In this case, the employer is expected to acquire the necessary equipment or material during the variance period. Finally, a temporary variance can be requested if the implementation process can not be completed in time. For example, in cases whereby implementing the new regulations requires alteration of facilities, a temporary variance can be requested if the alterations can not be done in time.
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Variances are also beneficial since they enable employers to develop their own techniques for compliance. Temporary variances can help industries to allocate their resources wisely when dealing with low-priority hazards or hazards which are likely to affect only a few employees (Twomey, 2009, p. 74). Variances also enable industries to participate in setting workplace safety standards. In this case, the employers propose alternative safety measures which are better or cheaper as compared to the OSHA standards.
A temporary variance is usually granted for either one year or the period required by the industry to comply with the regulations. However, the employers must convince OSHA that they are taking alternative measures to safeguard workers during the variance period (Twomey, 2009, p. 81). Besides, the employers must demonstrate their commitment to comply with the standards as soon as possible.
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