Alberta Reviews OHS System

Warehouse with chemicals

News From the Provinces

Alberta Labour Announces Comprehensive OHS Review – Invites Comments by October 16

Taking Alberta workplaces a little closer to heaven:

The province of Alberta is inviting stakeholders to get involved in a comprehensive review of its occupational health and safety (OHS) system. Although there have been some amendments (e.g. to the OHS Act in 2012, with an update to the OHS Regulation in 2013), the system was established in 1976. The operating OHS Code, containing details (such as WHMIS requirements) has not been updated since 2009.

[Note: Alberta Labour has also posted an update to their WHMIS 2015 transition policy following the extension of Health Canada’s deadline to 2018 for suppliers:

http://work.alberta.ca/documents/OHS-Bulletin-CH010.pdf ]

In addition to general regulatory updates, the review will also look at improving the fundamental aspects of the system under the key themes of responsibility, worker engagement and prevention.

Responsibility

This topic will examine potential enhancements to the internal responsibility system that may include tools such as prescribed joint health and safety committees or other programs, and enforcement options.

Worker Engagement

Worker engagement is dependant on protected rights- i.e. the right to: know about hazards; freely participate in OHS decisions or to refuse unsafe work, without fear of reprisal. Education and training of workers can assist in promoting worker engagement.

Prevention

The main focus of this theme in the review seems to be examining current programs to determine their effectiveness, as well Continue Reading…

TDG
TDG International Harmonization 2017 (TDG SOR/2017-137)

It’s Here, It’s Here! Feast Your Eyes on TDG International Harmonization 2017

(with apologies to “Genie” – aka the late Jim Backus …)

As predicted in last week’s blog on adoption of 2016 editions of CGSB standards, and reviewed in the Canada Gazette I (CG I) blog referenced therein, today’s Canada Gazette II (CG II) formalizes a variety of changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR).

The amendment, despite the “International Harmonization” working title is officially referenced as SOR/2017-137 and essentially follows the CG I proposal reviewed in earlier blogs. However, as expected, there have been some changes.

See our earlier articles on the CG I proposal:

An observation on the contents of this amendment – it appears that a rumoured dropping of italicized “guidance” text has begun in SOR/2017-137. The TDGR have been somewhat unique in this approach, but the word is that it is not in keeping with justice department philosophy that guidance material should be separate from the mandatory regulatory text – e.g. in an FAQ or other separate guidance document. This amendment incorporates several instances into the regulatory text and removes several others. Fortunately, the very useful listing of UN numbers pertaining to SP are retained at the end of each SP.

By the Numbers – TDG Parts Amended

PART 1: Interpretations, General Provisions, Continue Reading…

TDG
Transport Canada Prepares to Adopt 2016 Updates to Standards

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

IBC and Bio/Infectious Substances

Transport Canada (TC) published information on some significant changes to the latest editions of standards for design/manufacture/use of packaging for bio/infectious substances and Intermediate bulk containers (IBC); CGSB-43.125-2016 and CGSB-43.146-2016 respectively.

Moving Forward

The notices are presumably to give advance warning of changes to ambulatory (“dynamic”) references as indicated in the CG (Canada Gazette) I “International Harmonization Amendment” to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) expected, according to usually reliable sources, to be formalized by publication in the July 12 edition of CGII.

See also the author’s earlier Blog on the CGI proposal »

These will replace the currently references, in TDGR Part 1.3.1, to the 2002 and 1999 editions respectively. TDGR 5.16 will also be amended as the information appears in the 2016 edition of CGSB-43.125.

Summaries Available

Transport Canada qualifies their information, cautioning the regulated community to carefully read the standards themselves to ensure they are aware of all changes as some may not be covered in the TC summaries. Although not mentioned directly in this TC material, rumour (again the “usually reliable sources”) has it that there will be a 6-month transition to comply with new editions of revised standards that have ambulatory references in the July 12 amendment.

The summaries highlighting changes in the standards are available on the TC website:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-infectious-cgsb43125-1309.html
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-ibc-cgsb43146-1308.html

Access to CGSB Standards

Fortunately (unlike other and earlier versions), the actual pdf of these standards Continue Reading…

Air – TDG Part 12 Pre-Amendment Consultation

Ground and air transport

Time Flies

Transport Canada, in what has become a series of proposed amendments, has issued a consultation White Paper on updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations (TDGR) Part 12 Air.

This part references the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI) along with TDG-specific supplemental requirements and exemptions. Some ICAO references date back to 2002 and changes to the TI have made some TDG provisions redundant or in need of updating. Also, there are some clarifications proposed to better align with the Canadian Aviation Regulations under the Aeronautics Act.

In the interest of clarification, Transport Canada hopes to increase the “one window” approach, wherein material is incorporated into the Part 12 TDGR rather than simply referencing an external document. This self-contained approach will still have to consider that changes to external documents might make references a more practical approach in some areas. The objective is also to harmonize this proposal with the “dynamic” (aka “ambulatory”) approach taken with the TDG International Harmonization Amendment.

Related Posts

TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals
TDG Update: Proposed Harmonization/

Geography Counts – Limited Access Exemptions

A potential improvement to Part 12 includes adding a definition of “Limited Access”. The proposed definition reads:

“a location to or from which the transport of dangerous goods by means other than by aircraft is not reasonably possible, for at least Continue Reading…

TDG
Transport Canada Publishes Enforcement Action Summaries

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

A New Awareness Vehicle

Transport Canada has added a new item to the various informative offerings on the TDG home page. A link was added to an “Enforcement Action Summaries” listing to supplement existing guidance pages on topic-specific publications, orders, equivalency certificates, safety awareness material, etc.

This new page is intended to give the regulated community a better understanding of the types of offences that could subject them to penalties or orders to take corrective action. The objective is to provide an incentive to “deter wrongdoing” by demonstrating consequences to those who might choose to ignore the regulations; or, on a more positive note, provide an illustration of the advantages of understanding the regulations before an enforcement situation is encountered.

“I Fought the Law …” – or Ignorance is (Usually) No Excuse

Sections 22(3) and 40 of the TDG Act do provide for a defense of having taken “all reasonable measures” to comply with the Act. “Reasonable measures” would normally include acquiring and maintaining knowledge of the applicable regulations.

Although current enforcement activities are unlikely to result in the incarceration experienced by the misguided soul in Bobby Fuller’s 1966 classic hit, the TDG Act does provide for a range of consequences.

These consequences are represented in the published summaries under the following categories:

  1. Detention (of goods) notices
  2. Direction to remedy (non-compliances)
  3. Direction to “not import” or return DG to the point of Continue Reading…
WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 Delayed Implications

Young female Industrial Worker

The Cat Came Back – WHMIS 1988 Lives!

More Than Just a Date

As reported in Karrie Monette-Ishmael’s May 19 Blog, an order-in-council resulted in an extension to the Supplier deadlines for compliance with the GHS-based Hazardous Products Act/Regulation (WHMIS 2015). Canada Gazette II (CGII), published on May 31, provided some insight into the delay in the supplementary Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) associated with the extension.

RIAS

The transition extension itself (from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018 for manufacturers/importers; and from June 1, 2018 to September 1, 2018 for distributors) was cut and dried. However, the details in the RIAS are a reminder that despite the harmonization focus, there are still some unresolved issues in implementing the new hazard communication system.

CBI

Confidential business information (CBI) in the context of WHMIS has always focussed on masking the disclosure of ingredients on the M(SDS). Officially, Canadian suppliers were expected to rely on the somewhat costly and administratively burdensome Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) process to obtain exemptions from disclosing CBI. Practically the provisions in the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR or WHMIS 1988) were used by most suppliers as a simpler alternate to protect CBI.

Although this was the practise almost from the start of WHMIS 1988, it appears to be news to the current organisation- to wit, in the “Background” section of the RIAS: “Health Canada officials have learned that Continue Reading…

TDG
It’s The Standard – TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft

Red semi truck on highway

Transport Canada’s Standard TP14850, “Small Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, and 9”

Transport Canada is well into the process of producing the 3rd Edition of TP14850. The current 2nd Edition (2010) has been in effect since it replaced the CGSB 43.150-97 standard in 2014. Changes to TP14850 are required to reflect current harmonization with the UN Recommendations, changes in the TDG regulations, improvements to ensure the integrity of standardized packaging, addition/clarification of Part 14 special cases, and simplify use of the standard.

Comments are welcomed until May 31, 2017.

An initial draft update was prepared for discussion in January 2016 and a committee of 30-40 stakeholders has been reviewing, discussing and proposing modifications between the initial draft and the May 2017 draft version of the 3rd Edition (by way of disclosure, the author of this Blog is one of the stakeholder representatives). The May 2017 draft follows these reviews and feedback from an initial 2016 public consultation.

Manufacturer’s Periodic Re-Test Obligation

A new requirement (Clause 7.1.7) requires the registered manufacturer to periodically, at least every 5 years, repeat performance tests on a representative sample. Typically, registration certificates are issued for 5 year periods.

One thing to note is that although TP14850 as currently written/proposed does not define “manufacturer” with respect to obligations under the standard, the application form for registration clarifies, in section 4 and Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 Labelling: Imports – Direct Shipments

Warehouse with chemicals

Uniquely Canadian

A key difference that distributors of imported hazardous products are struggling with is the treatment of products that require re-labelling with Canadian-compliant labels.

WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 both require a “supplier” (seller) to ensure that products have compliant labels- i.e. as outlined in the respective “controlled” or “hazardous” products regulations. Manufacturers and Distributors, as suppliers are usually comfortable in complying when they are preparing/consolidating shipments of products initially labelled in compliance with the Canadian regulations for GHS-based required wording, pictograms, etc.

However, when receiving imports other mandatory features such as bilingual English/French text, a Canadian Supplier name/address and “non-GHS” classifications may not always be present.

Do It Here or Do It There?

Ideally the foreign supplier will have the instruction and capability to address Canadian label requirements when fulfilling the order from a Canadian customer- be it the end user or a distributor.

If the foreign supplier is unable to reliably provide WHMIS-compliant labels, the Canadian importer may supply the labels for application before shipment.

Practically this may not always be possible depending on the sophistication of the foreign supplier, the volume ordered or the uniqueness of the product. The Canadian distributor may bring non-compliant product to their facility/agent and re-label the product before delivery to the final customer who will have employees handling and/or using the product.

The above options are possible under both the WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 Continue Reading…

TDG
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals

Red semi truck on highway

An Easter Parade!

(Marine Amendment-Part 11, Rail Car Standard TP14877 Revision, ERAP- Part 7 Consultation)

Transport Canada is heading into what seems to be an ambitious spring/summer period with a variety of projects related to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations. The latest notices are open for comment until the end of April and cover aspects of Parts 5, 7 and 11 (with implications for other parts) of the TDG regulations (TDGR).

SHIP- NO!- “VESSEL” AHOY! – MARINE PROVISIONS

Significant changes are proposed to TDGR Part 11 and Part 1 Special Cases to reflect the current Canada Shipping Act (CSA) and associated regulations, as well as commercial considerations. These affect definitions, terminology and the ability to efficiently transport fuels or medical/diving gases on passenger vessels.

In addition to the changes highlighted in the notice, there are several other noteworthy changes in the proposal.

“Near coastal” versus “Home-Trade” Voyages

The current Part 11 has been the subject of confusion regarding what constitutes the use of the IMDG Code versus the TDGR, particularly with voyages between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Retailers in particular have had difficulty in determining when consumer commodities can continue on to NL under TDGR Special Case 1.17. The wording in the current TDGR implies that the voyage would fall under a Home-Trade Voyage Class 1 from the Home-Trade Voyage Regulations. At certain times, the Marine Safety branch of Transport Canada Continue Reading…

Shipping by Road
TDGR US Import Cross-Docking – All We Want are the FAQs…*

Cross-Docking is Reshipping

On February 8 Transport Canada issued an addition to FAQ regarding the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) Part 9, s. 9.4. This section deals with the re-shipping of dangerous goods (DG) received by road from the US when safety marks differ from those specified in the TDGR. In general, (more on this later**), TDGR 9.1 allows receipt of US shipments to first destination with the safety marks that were legally applied under 49 CFR at the US shipping point.

Cross-Docking

The FAQ defines “cross-docking” as “the process of transferring dangerous goods from one vehicle to another before reaching their final destination”. Changing drivers or tractor units does not trigger the term. When DG are cross-docked, Transport Canada considers this to be “re-shipping” and the provisions of TDGR 9.4 apply (note: although the FAQ refers to “reshipping” in quotes, the term is not specifically defined in the TDGR other than as described by s. 9.4).

Reshipping

Basically, the requirements in s. 9.4 are to remove placards which do not meet TDGR requirements and replace them with TDGR-compliant versions. Examples of these could be US “DANGEROUS” placards; or those with the midline adjusted (e.g. Class 7, 8, 9); or worded and “combustible” placards.
In addition, if means of containment (soon to become “packaging” we hope!) have labels or other safety marks differing from TDGR requirements, then the shipping paper must Continue Reading…