The Canadian government is moving head with integrating the Global Harmonization System (GHS) with Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulations. The biggest change will be with the supplier company 'classification' of chemicals and their labelling and documentation.
The government's 2014 budget referenced making amendments to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and related regulations to implement the GHS system of classification and labelling requirements for hazardous chemicals used in Canadian workplaces.
The reasons given for GHS implmentation are to facilitate international trade, reduce costs to businesses and consumers and improve worker health and safety.
Industry groups have been working with all stakeholders since 2011 to ensure that Canadian standards for chemical classification and labelling are aligned with that of the United States OSHA and other countries.
Health Canada is expected updated the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) in order to implement Global Harmonization System standards into the Canadian WHMIS program. The expected implementation of GHS in Canada is 2014-2016. For Canadian workers, this will remain retraining. The major changes for workers
will be to understand the new WHMIS supplier labels, pictograms, and 16 section Safety Data (SDS) sheets.
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