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HNOCs and labeling in New Jersey workplaces

A revised Hazard Communication Standard means that some hazards still need to be identified since some are not covered by OSHA or GHS classes. The classification for these hazards is "Hazard Not Otherwise Classified".

An HNOC refers to a substance that is inherently hazardous and not to one that can be harmful under certain conditions. For example, a person could slip and fall if water is spilled on the floor. Cold water could cause hypothermia while hot water could scald a person. However, in normal usage or even in foreseeable emergency situations, water is not hazardous and thus would not be considered an HNOC.

There is no signal word, pictogram or required label format specifically for an HNOC. There are required labels for HazCom, and these include hazard statements and precautionary statements. Any supplemental information on the label must not interfere with the identification of required information.

Workers may be seriously injured on the job by hazards whether or not they are correctly identified. Workers' compensation may be available to them even if they caused the accident that led to their injury. Injured workers might be overwhelmed by financial pressure, and concern about their ability to return to work. However, workers' compensation may help them and their family through this time. They might want to consult an attorney who may be able to explain their rights to them and assist them in getting benefits. Employers may try to retaliate against employees who file for compensation. However, this is not permitted, and an attorney may also be able to assist an employee who is in this position.

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