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General Carbon Co. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Comm'n

Citation: 19 ELR 20217
No. No. 87-1805, 860 F.2d 479/(D.C. Cir., 11/08/1988)

The court rules that labeling requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) apply to all hazardous chemicals leaving the workplace, even if the actual risk to downstream workers is extremely small. The court also holds that brushes that are manufactured at one plant and then shipped to another plant for assembly as part of electric windshield wiper motors are not "articles" exempt from the HCS labeling requirements, since the brushes expose workers to more than just a few molecules of copper and graphite. The court holds that the brushes are not exempt from labeling requirements as "mixtures," since the HCS does not contain an exemption for mixtures. Finally, the court holds that the failure to label the brushes did not constitute a de minimis violation. Even if the failure to label in this case did not subject workers to significant danger, as a general matter providing workers with comprehensive information regarding possible workplace dangers bears a direct and immediate relationship to public health.

Counsel for Petitioner
Stella L. Smetanka
Burns, White & Hickton
Ste. 700, One Riverfront Ctr., Pittsburgh PA 15222-4801
(412) 394-2500

Counsel for Respondent
Barbara Werthmann
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20210
(202) 523-6537

Before: WALD, Chief Judge and MIKVA and SENTELLE, Circuit Judges.