Technical Guidance on the Hazardous Products Act & Regulations – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements
On February 11, 2015, the Government of Canada published the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) in the Canada Gazette, Part II. These regulations, combined with amendments to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA), modified the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 1988 to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling for Chemicals (GHS) for workplace chemicals in Canada. This modified WHMIS is referred to as WHMIS 2015. With the incorporation of the GHS, the hazard classification and communication requirements of WHMIS are aligned with the workplace hazard classification and communication requirements of the United States (U.S.) and other Canadian trading partners.
To provide guidance to suppliers of hazardous products destined for Canadian workplaces and in support of a commitment under the Regulatory Cooperation Council Workplace Chemicals initiative, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau has developed Phase 1 of the Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the HPA and the HPR – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements.
This document also provides suppliers with information on the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) and its regulations and the mechanism to protect confidential business information (CBI). For comparative purposes, variances between Canada and the U.S. are highlighted in the guidance. These variances are necessary in order to maintain the current level of protection for workers or due to the requirements of the respective legislative frameworks.
Health Canada intends to release the Technical Guidance in two phases in advance of the June 2017 milestone for transition for manufacturers and importers to comply with WHMIS 2015 requirements. Phase 1 of the Technical Guidance focusses on classification principles, hazard communication and CBI. Phase 2 will focus on physical hazard classification and health hazard classification and is expected to be released in Fall 2016.
Health Canada’s website at WHMIS.gc.ca has been updated to reflect the availability of Phase 1 of the Technical Guidance. A PDF copy of the guidance can be requested via this link: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/occup-travail/technical-guidance-whmis-2015-guide-technique-simdut/index-eng.php
Specific questions or comments regarding this guidance can be directed to Health Canada: WHMIS_SIMDUT@hc-sc.gc.ca. For information on employer WHMIS requirements set out by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) occupational health and safety agencies, contact the agency in your jurisdiction. Specific WHMIS requirements for any jurisdiction can also be found at WHMIS.org. This site is Canada’s portal to WHMIS information for all WHMIS stakeholders, including suppliers, employers, workers and trainers.