Prevention System Updates

Royal Assent brings GHS one step closer

Release Date:  Jul 15, 2014

Changes to the federal Hazardous Products Act that received Royal Assent in June bring Canada one step closer to implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

GHS will replace Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with an internationally recognized system. Like WHMIS, GHS will help ensure workers understand and protect themselves from the hazards posed by chemicals they work with. The two systems achieve this by classifying hazardous products and communicating information to users via labels, training and safety data sheets.

Royal Assent of the Hazardous Products Act amendments enables the federal government to publish proposed changes to the act’s Controlled Products Regulations. These regulations define what a controlled product is and set out information that suppliers must put on product labels and material safety data sheets. The regulatory changes will likely be published in the Canada Gazette this summer.

As the transition to GHS proceeds, Canada’s provinces and territories will amend their own laws and provide workplaces will have a grace period before they too must comply with the changes. Here are three ways to find out more about how these changes affect workplaces: