CHICAGO (February 19, 2015) — MSDSonline, the leading provider of cloud-based chemical management solutions, today announced it will host a free webinar at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 to help educate businesses on, and answer questions related to, Canada’s recent adoption of the Global Harmonization System (GHS).
Canada became the most recent country to implement GHS — the model hazard communication system developed by the United Nations — when it published its Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) in the February 11, 2015 edition of the Canada Gazette II. The adoption brings significant changes to Canada’s hazard communication standard known as the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
OHS professionals and employers affected by the new law (which Health Canada is calling WHMIS 2015) can view the recorded version of the webinar on-demand. Webinar topics will include a WHMIS and GHS review, chemical classification, changes to hazard symbols, safety data sheets and chemical labels.
“Canada’s adoption of GHS is a big deal for every chemical manufacturer, importer, supplier and employer operating in North America, not just for Canadian companies,” said Glenn Trout, president and CEO of MSDSonline. “WHMIS 2015 is designed to align with OSHA’s recent GHS adoption in the United States. The two countries had a goal to coordinate their respective hazcom regulations to make it easier for chemical products to move between countries and to improve the transfer of critical safety information to employees.”
According to the Canada Gazette II announcement, the transition in Canada will involve a gradual phase-in of the HPR, culminating in the complete adoption of a GHS-aligned system by December of 2018. The Gazette text stated: “Applying the GHS to Canada’s hazard communication system for workplace hazardous chemicals, and doing so in alignment with the approach being taken by the United States, Canada’s major trading partner, not only reduces costs for industry and facilitates trade, but also keeps Canada on pace with the global standard for such systems.”
To make its case, the report cites trade statistics showing that the Canadian chemical manufacturing industry imported more than $28 billion in chemical products from the U.S. in 2013, and exported more than $24 billion to the U.S. in that same year.
Since the HPR was published last week, MSDSonline has been fielding questions from customers and interested stakeholders about how WHMIS 2015 might affect chemical management choices from an operational and compliance perspective. The March webinar will cover some of the most urgent questions, such as: what does GHS adoption mean for the WHMIS “three year rule” guidance for updating safety data sheets; what will happen to WHMIS Hazard Symbols; and what steps employers can take now to ensure future compliance?
Trout said, “Publishing the HPR was just the beginning. It kicked things off at the federal level, now the provinces and territories need to weigh in and go through their own legislative process. Nevertheless, there are important steps employers and chemical suppliers can take now to bring their organizations into alignment with WHMIS 2015.”
To learn more about MSDSonline, its Toronto based partner KMI, or their suite of environmental health and safety solutions (including the leading chemical management platform — perfect for managing GHS compliance), visit www.msdsonline.com or call us toll-free 1-888-362-2007 from the United States and Canada.
Founded in 1996 and based in Chicago, MSDSonline is a leading provider of cloud-based EH&S compliance solutions, offering products and services for managing safety data sheets, reporting workplace incidents, training employees and administering other critical EH&S information. The company’s mission is to provide sustainable solutions that help customers improve employee safety, streamline compliance recordkeeping and reduce potential exposures to workplace hazards and risks. MSDSonline has been recognized for six years on Inc. magazine’s list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. More information is available online at www.MSDSonline.com and on the official company blog at www.MSDSonline.com/blog. MSDSonline is an Actua (Nasdaq: ACTA) company.