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Updated WHMIS (M)SDSs

The new WHIMIS 2015 program involves GHS-integrated updates to the previous WHMIS 1988 hazard communications system. As part of the newly amended WHMIS system, updated MSDSs are now simply referred to as SDSs (Safety Data Sheets). For WHMIS 2015, updated SDSs use the GHS standardized 16-heading format as opposed to the 9-heading format seen in WHMIS 1988. The headings of sections 12-15 are required in the overall format of the updated MSDS sheets, but in Canada provision of info in these sections is optional. The standardized 16-section format of updated MSDS sheets (SDSs) harmonizes with the internationally recognized format described in GHS’s 5th revised edition (The Purple Book) by arranging the headings in their specified order (Col 1. of Sched 1 of the HPR). A comparison between the CPR (WHMIS 1988) and HPR (WHMIS 2015) suggested M(SDS) headings and their order is outlined in the table below.

 

MSDS Headings from WHMIS 1988 - CPR

(M)SDS Headings for WHMIS 2015 - HPR

Item #

Headings

Item #

Heading

1

Product Information

1

Identification

2

Hazardous Ingredients

2

Hazard Identification

3

Physical Data

3

Composition/Information on Ingredients

4

Fire or Explosion Hazard Data

4

First-aid Measures

5

Reactivity Data

5

Fire-Fighting Measures

6

Toxicological Properties

6

Accidental Release Measures

7

Preventative Measures

7

Handling and Storage

8

First Aid Measures

8

Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

9

Preparation Info

9

Physical and Chemical Properties

 

10

Stability and Reactivity

11

Toxicological Information

12

Ecological Information

13

Disposal Considerations

14

Transport Information

15

Regulatory Information

16

Other Information

  

Countries that have already adopted, or that intend to adopt the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals use the 16-section format mandated in UN’s international regulations to minimize the necessity of reclassification and retesting faced by countries that use independent hazard communication systems. 

Canada’s HPR legislature specifically mandates the requirement to have English and French language bilingual SDSs. This may be accomplished by having French translations within the same SDS or as a separate but identically translated copy.

Previously, suppliers were obligated to update MSDS sheets on a 3-year basis under WHMIS 1988. WHMIS 2015, on the other hand, only requires updated SDSs when presented with significant new data involving a hazardous product’s hazard classification and/or changes to its handling, storage, and protective procedures.

Under phase 1 of the WHMIS 1988 to 2015 transition, suppliers are granted use of either CPR or HPR compliant documents for their hazardous products; after the recently extended June 2018 deadline, full WHMIS 2015 compliancy will be enforced. All suppliers and employers must classify their hazardous products according to the new GHS aligned system by 1 December 2018 (transition is completed) and further ensure their workplaces have updated SDSs and labels according to the new system. For a more thorough breakdown of which information to include in the 16 sections of the updated SDSs, please read our blogpost on ‘GHS Compliant SDSs –  The New Requirements Under OSHA’S, HCS 2012

 

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Mega-Lab Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has employed a wide range of services from Nexreg Compliance, Inc. for several years. During that time Nexreg personnel have performed in a timely and professional manner in satisfying all of our regulatory requirements.
David K. Messer, Mega-Lab Manufacturing Co. Ltd.