REGULATORY ALERT: IMPLEMENTATION OF WHMIS 2015 IN CANADA

20 January, 2016

What’s Happening?

Health Canada has updated its regulatory requirements for workplace chemicals by aligning WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) with GHS (the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals).  This revision will affect the information required on Safety Data Sheets and labels for products used in the workplace that are classified as hazardous. 


How Could it Impact Me?

A transition period is in effect in order for suppliers of hazardous products to implement the new requirements of WHMIS 2015.

  • Canadian regulations require that both the SDS and label for a single product be either WHMIS 1988-compliant or WHMIS 2015- compliant. 

Quick Summary:

All products classified as “hazardous” according to WHMIS 2015 are required to have an associated safety data sheet (SDS) in the workplace available for all employees.  Since WHMIS 2015 follows the guidelines of GHS, SDSs will be comprised of 16 sections, each reporting specific information about the product.

  • SDSs and Labels are required in both English and French
  • Updating the SDS with “significant new data” concerning the product will be required within 90 days of the supplier being notified of the new information.

The new WHMIS 2015 requirements have a large impact on the labeling of hazardous products. 
GHS provides specific information that must be included on the label:

  • Product Identification information
  • Supplier information
  • Pictograms (a standard set of symbols representing the hazards of the product)
  • Signal Words (i.e. Danger or Warning) which alert those involved of the degree of the hazards
  • Hazards statements which are standardized phrases which describe the hazards identified 
  • Precautionary statements are also standardized and inform the reader of actions to follow to prevent and respond to harmful situations caused by exposure to the product.

A supplier must update a label after receiving “new significant data” within 180 days if being notified. 

Contact Us:

Critical Path Services can provide hazard classifications for your products and WHMIS 2015-compliant SDSs and label templates in both English and French.  We can also help you with Canadian notifications and other questions concerning Canadian regulatory requirements.

Elizabeth Dederick, Ph.D. Vice President, Industrial Chemicals and Biocides
+1 610 558 3001 Ext. 102 +1 610 558 6025 send mail