Regulatory Helpdesk: November 13, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

WHMIS Label Size Requirements

Q. Is there were size requirements for WHMIS labels?

A. No, the HPR does not mandate a size requirement other than saying it has to be legible. But, what does legible mean? As a general rule of thumb, which we have developed from reviewing many different labeling regulations is 10 mm for one side of the pictogram, and 2 mm for the font size (1.6 mm for a worst-case scenario).

IATA Special Provision

Q. What does  IATA’s Special Provision A191 mean?

A. It was determined that SP A191 means if you have a manufactured article with less than 5 kg of mercury in it (like a thermometer) then you don’t need the Class 6.1 label for mercury’s subsidiary hazard and you don’t have to list the 6.1 subsidiary hazard on the shipper’s declaration.   From what we can tell that only applies to UN3506 which is Mercury contained in manufactured articles.

Quantity Limits – TDG (Canada)

Q: What does the quantity limit in TDG Columns 8 & 9 represent in terms of Passenger conveyance restrictions- package, consignment, …?

A: Good point which many find confusing. The answer is in the often-overlooked Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
Health Canada Notice of Intent for Possible Amendments to the HPA and HMIRA

Warehouse with chemicals

The Issues with Exclusions and Confidential Business Information (CBI) Keep Coming

Health Canada recently published a proposed amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations), which included an option to use specified concentration ranges for ingredients rather than the exact or actual chemical concentration on their SDSs (safety data sheets) (October 21, 2017). The proposed amendment to allow these ranges, would offer industry some CBI protection of formulations without having to go through a potentially costly CBI application claim under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).

The “Why” of the Notice

After receiving comments and questions on the proposed amendment, Health Canada brought forward two additional bigger issues, the full exclusion of consumer products from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and HPR (or WHMIS 2015), and whether to allow CBI protections of substances with special health hazards (particularly carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxicants and respiratory sensitizers, or “CMRRs”).

The “What” of the Notice

With regard to the full exclusion of consumer products from the HPA and HPR, stakeholders felt that since the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations 2001 (CCCR 2001) did not include hazard criteria for special health hazards like the CMRR’s, a worker that might purchase a consumer product from a retail store to use in their workplace, will not have the same full hazard information on the product (and will therefore not protect themselves appropriately) that they would have if the Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: October 30, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

WHMIS Labeling

Q. If a product is manufactured in Canada strictly for export into the US, does it require the French on the GHS label?

A. HPR (Hazard Products Regulations) section 5.14, subsection 3. These exemptions from labeling and SDS (safety data sheet) requirements apply to importation (subsection 5.14(2) of the HPR) and sale, for the purposes of exportation (subsection 5.14(3) of the HPR), of hazardous products that are not meant to be used in a work place in Canada. Such hazardous products do not require an HPR compliant label or SDS.

Lithium Battery Labels

Q. When does the 12 mm UN number height requirement start?

A. The IATA 59th edition states the UN number height should be 12 mm. Since IATA 59th edition becomes mandatory on January 1, 2018, the UN height change is effective then. Keep in mind however that IATA defines “should” as a recommendation, it is not mandatory.

Q. I have a question on the red slash marks all the way around the label – what is the requirement on that?

  • Do they have to be so many of the red slash marks? – is there a specific Continue Reading…
WHMIS 2015
Health Canada Proposed Amendment to the HPR

chemical concentrations and ranges

Hooray for Ranges!

Finally, news that every Canadian chemical manufacturer, supplier, and importer has been waiting for.

On October 21, 2017, Health Canada proposed an amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations) providing industry with the option to use prescribed concentration ranges rather than the actual chemical concentration on their SDS (safety data sheets).

When Heath Canada updated the HPR to include the Globally Harmonized System into their regulations, they removed the ranges that were previously allowed in the 1988 edition.

One can imagine the reaction from people in the industry. We have heard things like, “I am not going to give away my formulation,” or “Are they trying to put me out of business?“.

After many months and many discussions with industry, RDC (Responsible Distribution Canada) and other Canadian associations persuaded Health Canada to agree to amend the HPR to include ranges – providing relief to industry. HMIRA claims may still be required for those who want to further protect their formula; however, Health Canada expects that with this amendment HMIRA filings will not increase.

The following is what the proposed amendment states:

  • The amendment allows the use of prescribed concentration ranges to protect ingredient concentrations and concentration ranges that are considered CBI without having to submit claims for exemption under the HMIRA. These prescribed concentration ranges will be spelled out directly in the HPR. The concentrations and concentration ranges of Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: October 9, 2017

Top 4 Questions From the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

#4. Why is My Product X when it should be Y? (USA)

Q. Why is my product listed as a Flammable Liquid Category 4, when the product is combustible?

A. Under OSHA Hazcom 2012, a product that has a flashpoint >140°F and <199.4°F is considered a Flammable Liquid Category 4.

This is illustrated in the table below:

Table B.6.1: Criteria for flammable liquids

Table B.6.1: Criteria for flammable liquids
Category Criteria
1 Flash point < 23°C (73.4°F) and initial boiling point ≤ 35°C (95°F)
2 Flash point < 23°C (73.4°F) and initial boiling point > 35°C (95°F)
3 Flash point ≥ 23°C (73.4°F) and ≤ 60°C (140°F)
4 Flash point > 60°C (140°F) and ≤ 93°C (199.4°F)

Once you have the classification, then you can apply the label phrases. The Flammable Liquid Category 4 hazard statement is Combustible Liquid. This is outlined in the table below.

C.4.19 Flammable Liquids (Continued)
(Classified in Accordance with Appendix B.6)
Hazard Category Signal Word Hazard Statement
4 Warning Combustible Liquid

 


#3. Does my Class 6 placard need to show Class 6.1? (International)

Q. I have a customer who is saying that it is the regulation to have the 6.1 on the bottom of the placard … and not just the 6 in order to ship overseas. Is Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 FAQ

Humpty Dumpty When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean

Or: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, … “it means just what I choose it to mean …”
Lewis Carrol “Through the Looking Glass” in Bartleby’s “A Dictionary of Quotations”:
http://www.bartleby.com/73/2019.html

CIC Meeting

Health Canada provided an FAQ presentation at a recent CIC (Current Issues Committee) meeting that may provide a useful lead in to the more detailed Guidance document published in December 2016.

The latter, “Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act & Hazardous Products Regulations – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements”, provides (at 540 pages) a detailed review of the content of the law and various aspects of guidance/interpretation. This document is available for download at:

http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.825948/publication.html

The length of the document may be daunting to the casual user, so the FAQ presentation attempts to present Health Canada’s position on items that are of current concern.

The CIC is a multi-representative committee that meets several times a year to review, as it’s name implies, issues that can be improved to increase the effectiveness of WHMIS in helping to protect workers. Currently there are representatives from various government levels (Federal/Provincial/Territorial), Health & Safety organizations (e.g. CCOHS), industry organizations (e.g. RDC, CIAC, etc.) and Labour (CLC, Unifor, etc.).

One of the current issues being addressed is to form sub-committees that may streamline the effectiveness of the committee in considering jurisdictional issues; in addition to establishing a working group to look at Continue Reading…

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…

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…

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Consumer Chemical Products and GHS SDS Requirements

Consumer chemical bottles

Do My Products Need a SDS?

Determining which of your consumer chemical products would require a GHS Safety Data Sheet (SDS), can sometimes be difficult and confusing. Which products actually do need to have compliant SDS, can differ depending on which country/region you are in, and how the product is being used.

Canada

In Canada, chemical products that are labeled, packaged, and sold at retail outlets as consumer products, are regulated by the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), and the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations 2001 (CCCR 2001). Examples of ‘retail’ outlets are stores such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Rona, and corner gas stations that anyone off the street can walk into and buy chemical products in, etc.

Chemical products, which are intended for use in worksites and not sold at retail outlets, on the other hand, are regulated by the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR, or “WHMIS 2015“). It is the HPA and HPR (WHMIS 2015), where GHS SDS requirements are found, while the CCPSA and CCCR 2001 do not currently contain any SDS requirements at all.

In the HPA, in Part II, Section 12(j) and Schedule 1, CCPSA consumer products are actually excluded from the application of the HPA’s requirements.

What does this exclusion mean?

Keep in mind that the CCPSA and CCCR 2001 do not contain any SDS requirements, while the HPA and HPR Continue Reading…

WHMIS Logo
WHMIS 2015 – June 2017 Deadline Extended

Warehouse with chemicals

Extra, Extra Read All About It!

Health Canada has announced that the deadline for manufacturers and importers to comply with the HPR (a.k.a. WHMIS 2015) has been EXTENDED.

The deadline of June 1, 2017 has been delayed by one (1) year to June 1, 2018. The second deadline of June 1, 2018 has been delayed by three (3) months to September 1, 2018.

The orders and a regulatory impact analysis statement (RIAS) will be published in Canada Gazette Part II shortly. We will provide details as they become available. Stay tuned.

Finally, thank you to everyone that worked with Health Canada to make this extension a reality.

Check out our resources for complying with the WHMIS 2015 regulations »