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Research and Standards

The Cal/OSHA Research and Standards (R&S) Occupational Health Unit and Occupational Safety Unit are responsible under Labor Code sections 50.7, 147, 147.1, and 6450-6457 for the following:

  • Developing occupational health and safety standards in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Labor Code sections 142.3-142.7, 147, and 147.1), ensuring that California’s standards are at least as effective as federal OSHA’s standards (Labor Code section 50.7; US Code, title 29, section 667).
    See Steps to Develop an Occupational Health Standard
  • Proposing new or revised standards based on research and knowledge concerning new hazards, improved methods to protect workers, or recent developments in case law (Labor Code sections 144.5 and 147.1).
  • Assisting and supporting other programs in Cal/OSHA in the interpretation and application of existing occupational health and safety standards.
  • Evaluating applications for a permanent variance from an occupational safety or health standard to determine whether the employer’s proposed method will provide equal or superior safety for employees (Labor Code sections 143 and 147).
  • Issuing temporary variances from an occupational safety or health standard if the employer needs additional time to come into compliance with a new regulation or proposes to participate in an experiment to demonstrate or validate new and improved techniques to safeguard the health and safety of employees (Labor Code sections 6450-6457).
window washers
  • Determining whether installation and maintenance of exterior building maintenance equipment, including window-washing equipment, comply with applicable safety standards (Labor Code sections 7325-7332; Title 8 regulations, sections 3281-3299).
  • Issuing licenses to persons qualified to inspect and test building surface maintenance equipment, including scaffolds (Title 8 regulations, section 3296(b)).
  • Certifying protective covers for reinforcing steel bars (rebar) and other similar projections to prevent impalement (Title 8 regulations, sections 344.90, 1505, and 1712).
  • Certifying gasoline vapor control systems used in service stations after evaluating safety hazards other than a fire hazard (Health and Safety Code sections 41950-41960).

Chief’s Office
Cal/OSHA Headquarters
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1901
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 286-7000

  • For exterior building maintenance equipment compliance determinations in southern California, licenses to inspect and test building surface maintenance equipment in southern California, rebar protective cover certifications, and gasoline vapor control systems certifications:
  • For exterior building maintenance equipment compliance determinations in northern California and licenses to inspect and test building surface maintenance equipment in northern California:

July 2015