Health Canada who oversees the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the associated Hazardous Product Regulations (HPR) which oversees the WHMIS supplier requirements including labeling, safety data sheets and exclusions has been working on several tools to assist Suppliers with classification of their hazardous products.
The first, is a Product Label Comparison Tool, and Safety Data Sheet Tool which can be found posted on WHMIS.org.
First, the Product Label Tool helps employers and workers better understand the requirements for labeling under the HPA as compared to the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), which has never been aligned with WHMIS (wait…it is being discussed). There are several examples of products that could be sold under both industrial and consumer markets, with comparison labels for each regulation.
The Safety Data Sheet Compliance Tool provides suppliers, importers and distributors an understanding of what is required under the WHMIS regulations, AND the most common errors found on a document.
The last tool that is available is the Hazardous Substance Assessment (HSA) which provides a non-mandatory classification of common hazardous chemicals. Although the list only contains a few classifications, new additions are being added regularly. This information can be found here.
So what is next?
Health Canada together with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety are working on Technical Decision Trees (see example below), which are expected to be posted on WHMIS.org by March 2023. Although not exhaustive, these educational logic models will help suppliers, importers, and distributors visualize how to classify their products by taking them through the health hazard classes.
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