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Permit Requirements for Construction Activities1

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The California Code of Regulations (CCR), title 8, section 341 and section 341.1 require employers to obtain Project Permits and Annual Permits from Cal/OSHA before conducting certain construction activities.2 A Project Permit authorizes an employer serving as a Project Administrator to conduct permit-required activity at specific location(s) named in the permit.3 An Annual Permit allows an employer not serving as a Project Administrator to conduct permit-required activity at any jobsite for a period of one year.4

  1. What types of construction projects require Project Permits and Annual Permits?
    1. A Project Permit is required:
      1. To demolish or dismantle any building or structure more than 36 feet in height.5
      2. To build or erect a structure intended to be more than 36 feet in height when completed.6
    2. One or more Annual Permits are required:
      1. When employers other than the Project Administrator will directly engage in the activities described in 1.a.(1) above.7
      2. When employers other than the Project Administrator will directly engage in permit-required activities, listed in 6.b. below, to build or erect a structure intended to be more than 36 feet in height when completed.8
    3. Either a Project Permit or an Annual Permit is required:
      1. To construct a trench or an excavation 5 feet or deeper into which any person is required to descend.9
      2. To erect and place scaffolding, vertical shoring, or falsework intended to be more than 36 feet high when completed.10
  2. What licensing requirements govern the work to be performed by permit holders?

    Both the project permit holder serving as Project Administrator (if directly engaging in the permit-required activities listed in 1.b. and 1.c. above) and annual permit holders must have a valid and applicable contractor's license issued by the Contractors State License Board.11

  3. For projects requiring a Project Permit, who must obtain the Project Permit prior to beginning work?

    The Project Administrator must obtain the Project Permit. This is the person or entity with overall onsite responsibility for the planning, quality, management, or completion of a project involving the erection or demolition of the structure.12

  4. In what situations can multiple projects or multiple permit-required activities be covered by one Project Permit?

    Only one Project Permit is required in the following situations:

    1. Multiple projects that are part of the same contract, when the work to be performed is the installation or erection of essentially similar structures other than buildings, bridges, dams, elevated highways, or tower cranes – even if the work will be located in different Cal/OSHA districts.13 Examples of such essentially identical structures include silos, outdoor signs, tanks or tank towers, and transmission or communication towers.

    2. Multiple permit-required activities (which can involve multiple structures) that will be performed at one worksite. In other words, a separate Project Permit is not required for each activity (or structure).14

  5. For projects requiring one or more Annual Permits, who must obtain the Annual Permits prior to beginning work?

    Employers other than the Project Administrator that will directly engage in a permit-required activity must have or obtain an Annual Permit.15

  6. How many Annual Permits are required?

    A separate Annual Permit is required for each of the following eight types of activities:

    1. Demolishing or dismantling a building or structure more than 36 feet in height.16

    2. Any of the following activities when performed to build or erect a structure intended to be more than 36 feet in height when completed:17

      1. Erection and placement of structural steel or erection and placement of structural members made of materials other than steel. (However, no permit is required for work limited to the erection or placement of reinforcing bars used in reinforced concrete construction.)
      2. Installation of metal decking or decking made of substitute materials.
      3. Installation of curtain walls, precast panels, or fascia.
      4. Forming or placement of concrete structures or concrete decks on steel structures.
      5. Installation of structural framing, including roof framing, or the installation of panelized roof systems. (However, no permit is required for work limited to the installation of interior partitions.)
    3. Constructing a trench or an excavation 5 feet or deeper into which any person is required to descend, if this activity is not covered by the Project Permit.18

    4. Erecting and placing scaffolding, vertical shoring, or falsework intended to be more than 36 feet high when completed, if this activity is not covered by the Project Permit.19

1The information provided here does not cover permits required for erecting, raising, lowering, or dismantling tower cranes or for the underground use of diesel engines.

2Certain exceptions to permit requirements are listed in subsection 341(e)

38 CCR section 341(b)(9) and (c)(1)

48 CCR section 341(b)(1) and (c)(2)

58 CCR section 341(d)(3)

68 CCR section 341(d)(4)

78 CCR section 341(d)(3)

88 CCR section 341(d)(4)

98 CCR section 341(d)(5)(A)

108 CCR section 341(d)(5)(B)

118 CCR section 341.1(b)(1)(C)

128 CCR section 341(b)(8), (d)(3), and (d)(4)

138 CCR section 341.1(f)(5)

148 CCR section 341.1(f)(4)

158 CCR section 341(d)

168 CCR section 341(d)(3)

178 CCR section 341(d)(4)

188 CCR section 341(d)(5)(A)

198 CCR section 341(d)(5)(B)

February 2017