Health Canada Postpones GHS/WHMIS 2015 Deadlines

Canadian chemical manufacturers and importers can breathe a sigh of relief, as Health Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau has officially announced it will be delaying its June 1, 2017 deadline for Phase 1 compliance with GHS/WHMIS 2015. The deadline has been extended by one year to June 1, 2018.

In addition, the Phase 2 compliance deadline for chemical distributors has also changed, and is now set for September 1, 2018. The Phase 3 compliance deadline for employers on December 1, 2018 remains unaffected.

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau states that the delay is intended to provide sufficient time for the development of an amendment to the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) that will protect the confidentiality of hazardous ingredient concentrations in chemical products, without having to submit a formal claim for exemption under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).

Under the HPR, exemption from disclosure of confidential information requires that the manufacturer submit a formal claim to the Bureau. The existing claims process can be both costly and time-consuming for suppliers, and the Bureau currently faces a substantial backlog of claims that are pending approval. Streamlining the claims process would relieve a significant burden on both suppliers and Bureau staff charged with rigorously evaluating each claim for its validity.

The Bureau has stated that delay orders and a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) will soon be published in the Canada Gazette Part II to formalize the decision. In the interim, suppliers should be aware of the new transition deadlines.

Let VelocityEHS Help!

VelocityEHS and our MSDSonline chemical management solutions can help you ensure that your workplace is ready for WHMIS 2015, with everything from managing and providing employee access to updated SDSs, to authoring and translating SDSs, to chemical safety training and more.

For the most up-to-date information on WHMIS 2015, be sure to attend our upcoming webinar “Canada's Adoption of GHS: What to Expect from WHMIS 2015” taking place on June 28, 2017. To help familiarize yourself and your employees with changes to WHMIS hazard symbols, download our free WHMIS/GHS Pictogram Poster.

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