Timelines for GHS adoption
Embracing GHS in a multi-year transitional plan
The Hazardous Products Regulations published in Canada Gazette (Part II) on February 11, 2015, confirmed Canada’s official adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and was the first step of a 4-year transitional plan.
Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the national hazard communication standard in place since 1988, now incorporates GHS elements. The resulting WHMIS 2015 includes new standardized:
- Classification criteria
- Label requirements
- Safety data sheet (SDS) requirements (formerly material safety data sheet)
A multi-year transition period is in effect where both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 may be used.
Main differences between WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015
Under WHMIS 2015, “controlled products” are called “hazardous products” and there are:
- New rules for classifying hazardous workplace chemicals;
- Two main hazard classes – physical hazards and health hazards;
- New label requirements, including pictograms instead of symbols that correspond to hazard classes; the hatched border is no longer required;
- A different format for safety data sheets; a Canadian supplier identifier must be listed on the SDS and label unless the product is imported for own use.
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