Health Canada Finalizes GHS Adoption in Hazardous Products Regulations

You are here

February 11, 2015 - James Lee

On 11 February 2015, Health Canada issued the final Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) in Canada Gazette II that implement the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in Canada. The transition period from the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) to HPR in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) encompasses four phases:

   

Manufacturers and importers

Distributors

Employers

Phase 1

From coming into force to June 1, 2017

Use CPR or HPR requirements

Use CPR or HPR requirements

Use CPR or HPR requirements

Phase 2

From June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018

Use HPR requirements

Use CPR or HPR requirements

Use CPR or HPR requirements

Phase 3

From June 1, 2018, to December 1, 2018

Use HPR requirements

Use HPR requirements

Use CPR or HPR requirements

Completion

December 1, 2018

Use HPR requirements

Use HPR requirements

Use HPR requirements*


*In addition, employers will be able to use any products that comply with the CPR requirements and that are already within the workplace as of December 1, 2018, until June 1, 2019.

Notable finalized changes include:

  • Implementation of the fifth revision of GHS published in 2013.
  • Five broad areas, in which the final regulations differ from the CPR: 1) new standardized approach of classifying workplace hazardous chemicals; 2) classification of physical hazards; 3) classification of health hazards; 4) amended safety data sheet (SDS), labeling and training requirements; and 5) revised exemptions.
  • Repeal of the CPR and the Ingredient Disclosure List.
  • Adoption of Hazard Not Otherwise Classified class from the U.S. HazCom 2012, but separate it into health and physical classes.
  • Substances that react vigorously with water to release a toxic gas (currently classified as a Dangerously Reactive Material under CPR) are classified in the Acute Toxicity hazard class of the final HPR aligning with the HazCom 2012.
  • Retension of Biohazardous Infectious Materials hazard class.
  • Requirements of bilingual (English and French) labels, while allowing a single 16-section bilingual SDS or two separate unilingual SDSs.
  • Repeal of the three-year revision requirement for SDSs in the absence of new information in respect of the product.
  • Grouping together hazard pictograms, the signal words and hazard statements on the label, which must be durable and legible without the help of any devices other than corrective lenses.
  • Repeal of requirement for a hatched border around the label content and a statement referencing that an MSDS is available.
  • Establishment of a list of 39 prescribed classifications in schedule 4. 
  • Corresponding technical amendments to: the Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations; the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations; the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers); and the Export Control List Regulations.

Business Impact:

This monumental promulgation is part of Canadian and United States governments’ efforts to align and synchronize implementation of common classification and labeling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals within the mandate of Health Canada and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  It is also intended to facilitate international trade through common labeling and other hazard communication requirements; and to increase worker protections through the adoption of a globally recognized system. 

As a result, companies doing business in both countries can expect more streamlined and harmonized processes in classifying and labeling of hazardous workplace chemicals; training their employees in hazard communication or hazardous materials information; and understanding international trade requirements pertaining to the hazardous workplace chemicals.  However, for such multinational companies, extra resources must be devoted not only to adopting the GHS requirements in Canada but dealing with differences between the HPR and the HazCom 2012 requirements.  

The final regulations can be found at: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2015/2015-02-11/html/sor-dors17-eng.php

Written by James C. Lee, Esq.- 3E Company Regulatory Analyst for North America.








VERISK ANALYTICS®
Top