This news update about Changing The Face Of Hazardous Products: Aligning WHMIS With The GHS In Canada, is brought to you by blg.com.
In February 2015, the amended federal Hazardous Products Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. H-3 (the “HPA”) and new Hazardous Products Regulations, S.O.R./2015-17 (the “Regulations”) came into effect. The amendments to the HPA repeal the Controlled Products Regulations, S.O.R./88-66.
The new legislation brings Canada’s hazardous products labelling requirements in line with the international standardized hazardous products labelling system, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS was created by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and at the time of writing this article, GHS has been implemented in 70 countries. The version of the GHS referred to in the Regulations is the fifth revised version although the sixth revised version is anticipated this year.
Changes to WHMIS
The HPA’s amendments and the new Regulations implement changes to Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to align it with the GHS. The changes to WHMIS are being rolled out under a multi-year transition plan ending on December 1, 2018.
The major changes to WHMIS include: 1) new hazard classes within the physical and health hazard categories; 2) standardization of supplier labels; and 3) the implementation of Safety Data Sheets. The three areas of major change are discussed in more detail below.
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