Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1200

March 4, 2014

Erik C. Baptist
Counsel
American Petroleum Institute
1220 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Re:   Request for Interpretation of OSHA's Amended Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) about Hazards Not Otherwise Classified

Dear Mr. Baptist:

This letter is being issued to API to provide additional guidance on how to apply the requirements for Hazards Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC) under the March 26, 2012, revisions to OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012).

Under OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard, an HNOC is defined as follows:

an adverse physical or health effect identified through evaluation of scientific evidence during the classification process that does not meet the specified criteria for the physical and health hazard classes addressed in this section. This does not extend coverage to adverse physical and health effects for which there is a hazard class addressed in this section, but the effect either falls below the cut-off value/concentration limit of the hazard class or is under a GHS hazard category that has not been adopted by OSHA (e.g., acute toxicity Category 5).

29 C.F.R. 1910.1200(c).

Classifiers may rely on the following guidance in applying the definition of an HNOC under HCS 2012:

  1. An adverse physical or health effect is a material impairment of health or functional capacity, as that phrase is used in section 6(b)(5) of the OSH Act, 29 U.S.C. 655(b)(5), resulting from workplace exposure to a chemical.

  2. A health effect is determined in accordance with the weight of evidence criteria in A.0.3.

  3. The term physical effect generally refers to a material impairment of health or functional capacity caused by the intrinsic hazard(s) of a particular chemical in normal conditions of use or foreseeable emergencies. Scalds caused by exposure to chemicals at high temp