Any employer may apply to the director for an order for a variance from any rule or regulation establishing a safety and health standard promulgated under this chapter. Affected employees shall be given notice of each such application and in the manner prescribed by RCW 49.17.080
shall be informed of their right to request a hearing on any such application. The director shall issue such order granting a variance, after opportunity for an inspection, if he or she determines or decides after a hearing has been held, if request for hearing has been made, that the applicant for the variance has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used by such applicant employer will provide employment and places of employment to his or her employees which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if he or she complied with the safety and health standard or standards from which the variance is sought. The order so issued shall prescribe the conditions the employer must maintain, and the practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which he or she must adopt and utilize to the extent they differ from the standard in question. At any time after six months has elapsed from the date of the issuance of the order granting a variance upon application of an employer, employee, or the director on his or her own motion, after notice has been given in the manner prescribed for the issuance of such order may modify or revoke the order granting the variance from any standard promulgated under the authority of this chapter.