DATE: June 16, 2000         NO: 00-57

CONTACT: Al Dwyer    Phone:  (907)465-4855

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

LABOR GRANTS TEMPORARY VARIANCE FROM SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS TO ICICLE SEAFOODS, INC.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has granted an interim order ex parte from safety and health standards prescribed in 8 AAC 61.1040(a) to Icicle Seafoods, Inc., pending a decision on the company’s application for a permanent variance.

Icicle Seafoods, Inc., requested a permanent variance that would allow them to reduce the ceiling height from 7 feet, as required by 29 CFR 1910.142(b)(2), to a tent ceiling height of 64 inches at their "secondary" housing facility in Petersburg, Alaska, during the peak fishing season of July and August.

The department granted the interim order ex parte because it is satisfied that Icicle Seafoods, Inc., has proposed alternative accommodations and procedures to ensure worker protection during the peak processing season that are at least as safe and healthful as those required by the standard.

Under AS 18.60.077, the commissioner may grant a variance from occupational safety and health standards when the employer unequivocally demonstrates that the proposed operation will provide conditions of employment as safe and healthful as those that would exist if the employer complied with the standard adopted by the department. The variance may be modified or revoked by the commissioner, either by his own motion or upon application by the employer or employees.

A copy of the Grant of Interim Order Ex Parte is available upon request from the Division of Labor Standards and Safety, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, P.O. Box 111149, Juneau, AK 99811-1149, or by calling Marcia Etheridge in Juneau at (907) 465-6005.

Interested parties may also submit written comments, views or arguments regarding the application to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development by close of business August 11, 2000.

Persons with a disability who need a special modification in order to comment on the proposed variance should contact Marcia Etheridge in Juneau at (907) 465-6005 no later than August 7, 2000, to make any necessary arrangements.

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