Canada Adopts GHS Resulting in WHMIS 2015

As of February 2015, manufacturers and importers of chemicals or chemical-related products throughout Canada must be educated on and compliant with the new WHMIS 2015 requirements. The newly revealed Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and its integration with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, also referred to as GHS, has brought about some significant changes for industry. The purpose of these changes is to align Canada with other nations in the way that hazardous materials are labeled and classified. The new system is expected to increase safety for employees who handle or work around hazardous chemicals.

For months, rumors of impending changes to Canada’s hazardous products regulations swirled throughout the manufacturing sector. Companies scrambled to predict what the new regulations would include and what they would mean to everyday business operations. On February 11, 2015, the rumors were finally put to rest with the publication of new rules that must be followed by any person or company that manufacturers or imports applicable products in Canada. The detailed publication included specific details about the new requirements and outlined a three part phase in program that will give those effected an opportunity to gradually phase-in the program. This should decrease confusion and alleviate the great financial burden that would have been levied on company’s if the program was executed all at once.