Many people are asking me for an Update on Canada’s WHMIS Revision / Adoption of GHS Timeline, well, here is an article I found today:
July 23, 2012
In a recent podcast published on WorkSafeBC, Lorraine Davison, Manager of Chemical Services at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), reported on tentative dates/plans for Canada’s revision of WHMIS to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
According Davison, proposed Controlled Products Regulations could be published in the Canada Gazette 1 by March 2013, final regulations could be published in Canada Gazette 2 by January 2014, and actual implementation of GHS within WHMIS could happen by July 2015.
Davison says the July 2015 date is set up to give the provinces and the territories time to adjust their own WHMIS regulations. After July 2015, Davison says there is likely to be a transition period during which employers may follow either the existing WHMIS or the new WHMIS.
Additionally, Davison said Canada is likely to adopt GHS in a similar manner to the U.S. adoption, including the new U.S. Hazard classes for combustible dust and simple asphyxiants. She stresses however that the existing WHMIS systems will be around for at least three years and then likely during a transition period.
She also cautions that although Canadian workers may begin seeing the GHS formatted labels, that they should continue to look for WHMIS labels and continue to work with WHMIS hazards. Furthermore, Davison says Canada will not be lowering protections and is expected to keep its bio-hazard and infectious materials regulations.
First Response’s Comments:
If you’ve been waiting for an update on Canada’s WHMIS Revision / Adoption of GHS Timeline I hope the above article helps. Most companies are preparing for these changes, although they will take several years to implement. I would not get too worried about things just yet tho – as we are well aware, government changes don’t happen quickly and often go thru several review stages before they are cast in stone. Rest assured that I will keep you Update on Canada’s WHMIS Revision / Adoption of GHS Timeline as and then they become available right here on my blog!