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February 19, 2015

Canada’s Hazardous Products Act and Regulations To Implement Globally Standardized Rules

On February 11, 2015, the federal Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) and the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) came into force. The HPR and HPA implement the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in Canada. GHS is an international initiative to standardize rules for classifying and communicating about chemical hazards. Through the HPR and HPA, Canada modifies the Workers Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to incorporate the GHS. The key roles and responsibilities for suppliers, employers and workers under the original 1988 WHMIS program will not change.

The amended HPA and new HPR compliance periods establish a three-phase transition approach to update WHMIS. By December 1, 2018, all suppliers and employers are expected to comply with HPR requirements. The updated 2015 WHMIS program will align Canada’s hazard classification and communication requirements with those of its trading partners. This should enhance the competitiveness of Canadian suppliers.

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