Health Canada GHS Technical Guidance Released June 2016

GHS Labelling of Chemicals

Canada GHS holds importance for chemical manufacturers and exporters in the US since most of them are engaged in trade across the border. The deadline is June 2017 for implementation of the GHS in two phases. Phase one comprises on classification principles, confidential business information and hazard communication while passé 2 focuses on health and physical hazard classification. The Health Canada GHS implementation is just as important for Canada based chemical manufactures, importers and end users. Canada WHMIS 1988 now incorporates GHS for workplace chemicals. It more or less aligns with the systems now in place in the US. Almost all hazard classes are covered with the possible exception of explosives. The objective is to enhance safety of workers. At the same time the bio hazardous infectious materials hazard class that does not form part of GHS health hazard class is retained in Canadian HPR with the same objective while additionally introducing new health hazard classes but environmental hazard classes have not been included in the HPR.

This and other modifications necessitate a different approach to preparation of GHS SDS and GHS labelling of chemicals for conformity with Canadian guidelines. Pictures and statements do form a part of SDS and labels but it is necessary to use slightly different pictograms and texts. The good news is that despite variances in approach between the Canadian and US regulations, both governments are working to maintain uniformity and ensure that a single SDs and label for each hazardous product is acceptable. It does require expertise of both OSHA Hazcom 2012 and Canadian WHMIS to be able to pinpoint the differences and ensure compliance and this is where ICSDS GHS labelling and SDS expertise comes into play.

GHS Labelling of Chemicals

ICSDS assists US and Canada based chemical manufacturers, importers and experts with the transitioning from CPR to GHS SDS under the new Hazardous Products Act. The deadline is fast approaching and quick action needs to be taken to ensure full compliance by June 2017 or latest by end of the year. ICSDS scientific experts are familiar with OSHA GHS SDS labelling requirements and also with Canadian guidelines in this regard.

Consider the inclusions and exclusions of the Canadian GHS requirements and updating existing materials to comply with the new guidelines can be an exacting task. It requires a detailed conversion plan to examine present safety data sheets and labels and match them against the new regulations before proceeding with revision. Employees also need to undergo training to know the changes in data sheets and labels and learn to implement them correctly at workplaces. ICSDS takes care of phase I and phase II of the new HMIS 2015 implementations to ensure a flawless transition.

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