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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 »

WHMIS 2015
Bulletin – Saskatchewan Puts WHMIS 2015 in Force

Saskatchewan Joins the Fold- WHMIS 2015 Implementation Starts August 17

The “Land of Living Skies” (SK) has become the 6th province to finalize regulatory amendments to implement WHMIS 2015 in workplaces under their jurisdiction.

REG 6, officially named “The Occupational Health and Safety (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) Regulations, takes effect August 17, 2016 –as published in the June 17 Saskatchewan Gazette.

The regulation supplements The Saskatchewan Employment Act WHMIS requirements (Part III, DIVISON 7 of Statute S-15.1). As long as employers comply with the WHMIS 1988 requirements during the transition period, full compliance with WHMIS 2015 labelling/SDS at a worksite does not become mandatory until December 1, 2018.

The requirements mirror those in the model regulation which have been included to varying degrees in the FPT (federal/provincial/territorial) workplace regulations issued to date.

As with most OHS (occupational health & safety) regulations, training must be provided for hazards in the workplace- so employers receiving WHMIS 2015 labeled products/SDS will be expected to have trained workers in using the new system before they are able to be introduced to a worksite or place of employment (the defined terms for what other FPT refer to as a “workplace”).

Oh – “Land of Living Skies”?:
Saskatchewan is called the Land of Living Skies for a reason »

But if you visit, beware of Captain Tractor:

WHMIS 2015
Ontario Enforcement Blitz – Training for WHMIS 2015 (GHS)

A Little Background

A question that’s been top-of-mind with many in the regulated community is along the lines of “What does Canada’s GHS-modified hazardous products act/regulations (HPR-WHMIS 2015) say about workplace training and labelling of hazardous products?”

The short answer to this question is that the new Federal HPR says essentially the same thing as the previous CPR (Controlled Products Regulations-WHMIS 1988):

”           ” – i.e. “Nothing”.

Constitutionally, most workplaces fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces/territories so they have the responsibility to establish/enforce OH&S regulations regarding what employers must do to apply the Supplier-provided (Federal jurisdiction) information. The exceptions to this are the limited number of constitutionally-designated Federal workplaces- and even in these workplace issues are addressed through separate OH&S regulations under the Canada Labour Code (CLC).

Ontario’s Blitz

The question is perhaps being highlighted in Ontario where the Ministry of Labour indicated earlier this month that they, under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, would be undertaking an “inspection initiative” (aka “blitz”) regarding WHMIS compliance. This initiative, under the “Occupational Hygiene” program focus, is scheduled to run from now through March, 2016.

Inspectors will be looking for compliance with requirements for “labels, msds, worker education, and COMMUNICATION OF COMPONENTS OF THE GHS” (emphasis added).

Follow this link to view the blitz schedule:
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/resources/blitzschedule.php

The exercise will be complicated by the fact that the WHMIS 1988 regulations can still be applied during the transition period Continue Reading…

GHS
“Oh, How We Could Harmonize” — OSHA HazCom 2012 & WHMIS 2015

The Gang that Sang in this case is US OSHA/Health Canada; and it’s hazardous communications, not “Heart of my Heart” (despite my fondness of the former!), that they’ve been “singing” about.

In any case, despite the efforts there are still some differences between the two countries. Health Canada, following the coming into force of the Hazardous Products Act/Regulations (“HPR- WHMIS 2015”) in February, has thoughtfully produced a summary table of variances between Canada’s WHMIS 2015 and US OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (“HazCom” or HCS2012”).

The obvious English-French bilingual requirement is first on the list. One aspect of this that is not highlighted is the requirement to provide BOTH languages on the SDS (either as a bilingual document- or with the 2 versions attached as a single document) when selling to a Canadian customer.

As indicated in the Canada Gazette II “regulatory impact analysis statement” (RIAS), various differences are necessary to either reflect constitutional/regulatory regimes or to ensure that worker protection features considered essential are maintained.


10 Disharmonies in OSHA & WHMIS »


An example of the former is the requirement to differentiate and define “hazards not otherwise classified” (HNOC) between physical and health related hazards. Also the unilateral declaration of “proprietary” information, while not specifically mentioned in the summary guide, results from regulatory constraints.

The disclosure of information on carcinogenic ingredients is an example of the latter. WHMIS 2015 doesn’t require SDS Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 Published in Gazette II

Health Canada Reveals Final Version of Canadian GHS

An important change has occurred on the Canadian regulatory scene. Health Canada has released the long-awaited revisions to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) for hazardous workplace chemicals. This new system will introduce sweeping changes for classification of chemicals, labelling of workplace chemicals, and Material Safety Data Sheets (which will now be known simply as Safety Data Sheets or SDSs).

The new system will replace the Controlled Product Regulations with the Hazardous Products Regulations. This new regulation will incorporate a system that has been adopted by the United States, Europe and many other countries and economic zones. Using this new system is anticipated to help Canada compete in international markets, as well as make importing workplace chemicals less complicated and expensive.

The text of the new regulation can be downloaded from Canada Gazette’s website (PDF). Compliance will not be mandatory right away – there will be a series of transition periods, leading to final adoption by December 1, 2018. However, you may start using the new system immediately if you prefer.

Also updated is the regulation for considering trade secrets, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations.

More WHMIS 2015 Resources


ICC Compliance Center is currently studying these new regulations, and will keep all our customers up to date on the Continue Reading…

OSHA Labeling
Workplace Labels – An Essential Part of Workplace Safety

Nola Murphy’s Story

It was in a soft-drink bottle. It looked like lemonade. But 73-year-old Nola Murphy discovered, after pouring herself a glass, that it wasn’t. In fact, it was a toxic mould-remover that a cleaner had left sitting on a restaurant bar. The cleaner had poured the product from a larger container into the soft drink bottle for easier handling.

Mrs. Murphy was lucky – she survived the experience, although she required emergency hospital treatment. But her story, given in an article in the New Zealand Medical Journal, shows how putting hazardous chemicals in unlabeled containers can be a recipe for disaster. (More: The New Zealand Herald)

Many countries, including the United States and Canada, require hazardous chemicals sold to the workplace to be labeled by the supplier. Regulations such as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and Canada’s WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), set out the basic requirements for such labels (called “supplier labels” under WHMIS, and “labels for shipped containers” by OSHA). But as Mrs. Murphy’s experience shows, many hazardous chemicals still end up in unlabeled containers. They may be poured (“decanted”) from larger containers for convenience. The original supplier label may have been damaged or removed. Or two or more chemicals in separate containers may be mixed together to make a new product. No matter how it happens, unlabeled chemicals create a Continue Reading…

Health Canada Proposes WHMIS 2.0 Timeframe

Update to the Canadian Standard

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is due for its greatest shakeup ever, as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is introduced to replace the current rules for classification and labelling, in a process sometimes called “WHMIS 2.0”. This will mark the greatest change ever to the venerable WHMIS system, first introduced in 1988, and will be a giant step forward for international harmonization.

The current WHMIS standard is uniquely Canadian, using a classification and labelling system different from those used by other countries. The GHS standard will bring Canada’s hazard communication system in line with the rest of the world. Harmonization should result in significant savings for Canadian manufacturers and distributors, while making sure that workers still receive the information they need to stay safe.

But time is running out for Canada – the European Union (EU) and United States have already implemented their systems, which are due to become mandatory June 1 next year. Health Canada, the federal department that administers WHMIS through the current Controlled Product Regulations (CPR), has little time left to introduce the GHS and have it in place by next year.

The Importance of WHMIS 2.0

Why is this important? WHMIS was developed by Canadians, without considering how hazard communication works in other countries. It uses a unique classification scheme, as well as a labelling system different from both the Continue Reading…

7 Health Canada & OSHA FAQs

FAQs Arising from My Attendance at the SCHC Conference

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Q&A session at the fall session of the SCHC conference. The session included speakers from OSHA and Health Canada. There were a number of great questions, and here are some of those questions and answers that stood out to me.

Question:

Are any required pictograms being considered by OSHA for combustible dusts?

Answer:
This topic is in discussion, but there is definitely an aversion to creating whole new pictograms (i.e., non-current GHS pictograms).


Question:

Will there be a Word template (like the old OSHA form 174) provided by OSHA?

Answer:
Yes, but progress on it is very slow since it is not a priority.


Question:

Has there been any progress by OSHA on creating more pictogram precedence rules? Right now if you have an acute toxicity classification requiring a skull and crossbones, you would still have to include the exclamation if you had a STOT SE Category 3 material. The exclamation seems redundant.

Answer:
There is “some” discussion on this but, more pressure from industry is needed for this discussion to progress further.


Question:

Is it okay with OSHA to continue using HMIS/NFPA in a US workplace?

Answer:
Yes, but you need to make sure training and other information available on the GHS hazards of chemicals used in the workplace is readily available. Also, by 2016, HMIS/NFPA ratings are updated to reflect any “new” GHS Continue Reading…

GHS In Canada – Are We There Yet?

WHMIS 2.0 Comment Period

It should be no surprise by now that Canada is moving ahead with GHS, or WHMIS 2.0 implementation, and that a comment period was available. The target is still to synchronize the WHMIS GHS implementation with the US OSHA date of June 2015.

During the comment period Health Canada formally received 67 submitted “comments” from industry on the WHMIS 2.0 proposal in Gazette I – mostly for support of the GHS initiative. One comment focused on aerosols and the fact that the proposal indicates it is in alignment with the 5th revised edition of the GHS purple book. But, manufacturers would currently still have to assign a compressed gas classification under the proposal as it stands now. The 5th edition, though, drops the compressed gas designation for aerosols. Health Canada is investigating this issue.

ghs-transition-guides-button-2Comments are being reviewed and upon completion, subsequent steps include amendments to OSH legislation, developing guidance documents and training materials, and final publication in Gazette II.

Also, there are important variances to note in WHMIS 2.0 versus OSHA GHS. The phrase “Not applicable” MUST NOT be used in Section 11 of an SDS; and for STOT classifications, suppliers MUST NOT identify a specific organ and route of exposure unless they are 100% positive there are no other target organ effects. A general statement that does not specify an organ or a specific Continue Reading…

Getting Here Soon? – HPR in Canada Gazette I

Health Canada publishes proposed GHS regulations – to continue worker protection while harmonizing with US

The long-awaited proposed Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR – WHMIS 2.0), to replace the Controlled Products Regulations, were published in the August 9, 2014 edition of the Canada Gazette I. These regulations follow from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and are being re-issued to implement elements of the GHS (Globally Harmonized System) for workplace hazard communication.

Implementation: While there isn’t yet a firm implementation date, Health Canada has formally indicated in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, introducing the proposed HPR, that the intent is to produce the final version by December 1, 2014. Implementation will include a transition period to start no later than June 1, 2015. The actual date is tied to the “in force” date for the revised HPA (see Bill C-31 – WHMIS 2.0: Another Step on the Journey (GHS In Canada) June 23, 2014), when ordered by the Governor in Council.

There is a 30 day period, until September 8, 2014, for interested parties to submit comments before the final version is prepared.

Content: The proposed text of the HPR is essentially the same as the “pre-Gazette” consultation paper made available in July, 2013. A notable change is referencing the 5th Edition of the UN model (“Purple Book”) instead of the 3rd. In this penultimate version Health Canada has tried to keep Continue Reading…