South Carolina employees who are required to work around hazardous materials have likely been trained to read hazard warning labels. Under the revised Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), however, employers are also required to identify hazards that are not necessarily covered by other classes as identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
There are certain criteria that a hazard that is considered to be a “Hazard Not Otherwise Classified” must meet. First, the hazard must fall outside OSHA’s classification system. Second, it must still present potential danger to a vulnerable population. For example, a chemical that would not pose as a danger to a normal healthy person may be called an HNOC if it could pose a health hazard for a person who is more vulnerable.
If an HNOC is identified, employers are responsible for providing an identification of the hazard class and associated information. HNOCs do not need to be included on a hazard label as no pictogram or wording has been assigned to these types of hazards. However, the label preparer can provide supplemental information on identified HNOCs as long as the required hazard information is still included and is not undermined by the additional information.
Workers who are injured by a chemical or other hazard may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the severity of the injury and how long it will take for the employee to recover, an attorney may assist with reporting the injury to the employer and preparing and submitting the required claim.