Experimental Variances from California Code of Regulations, Title 8

November 30, 2023

Cal/OSHA and the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations may grant an experimental variance to exempt an employer from a title 8 requirement in accordance with California Labor Code section 6452:

Labor Code §6452
“The division is authorized to grant a temporary variance from any standard or portion thereof whenever it determines such variance is necessary to permit an employer to participate in an experiment approved by the director designed to demonstrate or validate new and improved techniques to safeguard the health or safety of workers.”

Any person  who is adversely affected by the issuance or denial of an experimental variance may appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board, contact: oshsb@dir.ca.gov) in accordance with Labor Code sections 6455 - 6457:

Labor Code §6455.
“Any employer or other person adversely affected by the granting or denial of a temporary variance may appeal to the standards board within 15 working days from receipt of the notice granting or denying the variance. The 15-day period may be extended by the standards board for good cause.”

Labor Code §6456.
“A decision of the standards board on a variance appeal is binding on the director and the division with respect to the parties involved in the particular appeal. The director shall have the right to seek judicial review of a standards board decision irrespective of whether he [sic] appeared or participated in the appeal to the standards board.”

Labor Code §6457.
“The standards board shall conduct hearings and render decisions on appeals of decisions of the division relating to allowance or denial of temporary variances. All board decisions on such variance appeals shall be in writing and shall be final except for any rehearing or judicial review.”

See Instructions on how to apply for an experimental variance for step-by-step application instructions. Any questions or comments on the experimental variance process or on a specific experimental variance should be sent to the Deputy Chief of Health for Cal/OSHA, Eric Berg at eberg@dir.ca.gov.

Below is a list of experimental variance applications received by Cal/OSHA and the corresponding letter of approval or denial issued by Cal/OSHA.

Employer/Date of Application

Experimental Variance Application

Experimental Variance or Letter of Denial

Appeals Documents if Applicable

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal/Fire)/August 2022


Under review










































































December 2023