GHS in Canada is Here: What next?

 In news, SDS: Safety Data Sheets, Workplace Products

By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email

On February 11, 2015, Health Canada published Part II of the Hazardous Products Regulations in the Canadian Gazette, which incorporated the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 1988. This modified WHMIS is now referred to as WHMIS 2015 or ‘Canadian GHS.’

All deadlines have passed for adoption and Canada is in full swing with the GHS.  The final phase ended on November 30, 2018.

What does this mean for Canadian companies? Are our compliance requirements met?

No. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

Although federally the three-year expiry has been abolished, there are still requirements for updating your SDSs if you sell within Canada.  If new significant data is obtained, the SDS must be updated to include this new information. Information considered significant new data could include but is not limited to new carcinogen data.  Any change that impacts the classification of the product as a whole would be considered significant.

In addition to new significant data, some provinces are requesting that a new SDS be prepared every three years even though federally it is no longer a requirement. WorkSafeBC for example is requesting that an SDS continue to be updated every three years to ensure compliance. When an SDS is three years old, an employer must obtain an up-to-date SDS from the supplier.

Saskatchewan, Yukon, The North West Territories, and Nunavut are also requiring updated SDSs every three years.

If you intend to sell to these provinces, be sure to keep your SDSs up-to-date.

Is there anything else to consider with respect to SDSs in Canada?

At this point in time, Canada is looking to adopt version 7 of the regulations.  The current regulatory initiative: Amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations to align with the 7th revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) has been put forward as part of the Regulatory Plan for 2018-2020.

Under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Action Plan, Canada, and the US have committed to align and synchronize the implementation of common classification and labeling requirements.

Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I public comment period which is anticipated to arrive in winter 2019. The public consultation will last 30 days.

 What should you do in the meanwhile?

Contact Dell Tech Laboratories if you have any questions about your SDSs or compliance requirements. If your Canadian SDS is not within three years, it requires an update.

We are your experts in GHS classification and can help keep your SDS compliant within the three-year requirements.  We will continue to contact our current clientele to advise of the three-year expiry.

If you would like more information about this aforementioned information, please contact Dell Tech Laboratories for further details on our SDS authoring process.

Dell Tech
Kirsten Alcock, B.Sc. (Hons) 
Manager, Product Safety Group

Dell Tech has provided professional, confidential consulting services to the chemical specialty

industry in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia for the last 40 years.

Contact us today for more information.

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