Variance Requests

In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 95-132, an employer can petition the NCDOL for relief from the requirements of a standard. There are three types of variances: temporary, permanent and experimental.

Variances only have future effect and can not be requested during an on-going OSH inspection to satisfy abatement for a citation. An employer must file a variance application in accordance with the requirements of NCGS 95-132 and NCAC 7A .0700-Rules of Practice for Variances.  A variance does not permit an employer's exemption from following a standard.  Rather, the employer must present conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used by an employer that will provide employment and places of employment to his employees which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if he complied with the standard. Variance applications are reviewed and determined by the Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau.

Variance applications should be mailed to:

OSH Director
N.C. Department of Labor
1101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1101