ORS 654.056¹
Variance from safety or health standards
  • effect of variance on citations

(1) Any employer may apply to the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, pursuant to regulations and procedures adopted by the director, for an order granting the employer a variance from a particular safety or health regulation, rule or standard.

(2) The director may grant a temporary variance only if the employer demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(a) The employer is unable to comply with a new regulation, rule or standard by its effective date;

(b) The employer has an effective program for complying with the law as quickly as practicable; and

(c) The employer is taking all available steps in the interim to safeguard the employees of the employer against the hazards covered by the regulation, rule or standard.

(3) The director may grant a permanent variance only if the employer demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations or processes used or proposed to be used by the employer will provide employment and a place of employment which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if the employer complied with the regulation, rule or standard.

(4) Where the director proposes to deny a request for a variance, the employer shall be given an opportunity for a hearing before the Workers’ Compensation Board in which the employer may contest the proposed denial.

(5) Where the director proposes to grant a variance, the affected employees shall be given an opportunity for a hearing before the board in which they may contest the proposed variance.

(6) A request for a variance which is filed after an inspection or investigation by the director will not act to stay or dismiss any citation which may result from such inspection or investigation, and an order granting the requested variance shall have no retroactive effect.

(7) An order granting a variance may be modified or revoked by the director upon the director’s own motion or upon the application of the employer or an affected employee or representative of the employee, in the manner prescribed for its issuance at any time after six months from its issuance. [1973 c.833 §13 (enacted in lieu of 654.055); 1977 c.804 §37]

Notes of Decisions

Safety codes under Oregon Safe Employ­ment Act apply to all work places and not only to work places covered by Employer Liability Law. Miller v. Ga.-Pacific, 294 Or 750, 662 P2d 718 (1983)

Viola­tion of Workers’ Compensa­tion Depart­ment rule resulting in injury to nonemploye is not negligence per se, but it does not follow that rule is irrelevant to determina­tion of due care in case grounded in common law negligence. Shahtout v. Emco Garbage Co., 298 Or 598, 695 P2d 897 (1985)

Where right of ac­tion for injuries exists resulting from viola­tion of Oregon Safe Employ­ment Act, right belongs only to employee whom Act directly protects not “indirect” employee. Flores v. Metro Machinery Rigging, Inc., 99 Or App 636, 783 P2d 1024 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Referee did not err in finding employer in viola­tion of rule requiring workers to be “properly...supervised” where employee killed in accident was skilled and experienced supervisor working with two other supervisors during strike, but none of the three was in charge. Accident Preven­tion Div. v. Roseburg Forest Prod., 106 Or App 69, 806 P2d 172 (1991)

Whether identity of complainant falsely reporting viola­tion is subject to disclosure under Oregon public records law ([former] ORS 192.410 et seq.) depends on complainant’s good or bad faith in making complaint. Hood Technology Corp. v. Oregon Occupa­tional Safety and Health Division, 168 Or App 293, 7 P3d 564 (2000)

Chapter 654

Notes of Decisions

An administrative regula­tion requires Accident Preven­tion Division to prove reasonableness of civil penalty imposed for viola­tion of Oregon State Employ­ment Act. Accident Preven­tion Div. v. Sunrise Seed, 26 Or App 879, 554 P2d 550 (1976)

Accident Preven­tion Division rule allowing cita­tion for “repeat viola­tion” of division’s safety standards while prior cita­tion is contested and not yet upheld by final order is within agency’s authority to promulgate rules consistent with purpose of Act to assure as far as possible safe and healthful working condi­tions. Accident Preven­tion Div. v. Hoffman Construc­tion, 64 Or App 73, 667 P2d 543 (1983)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Inap­pli­ca­bil­i­ty of occupa­tional safety and health laws to inmates in prison work programs, (1996) Vol 48, p 134

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 654—Occupational Safety and Health, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors654.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 654, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano654.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information