Canada proposes to align its hazardous products regulation with GHS, 7th revised edition

Canada proposes to align its hazardous products regulation with GHS, 7th revised edition

Adopting the seventh revised edition of the GHS would provide increased worker health and safety benefits and worker protections and to comply with the Canada – United States Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Forward Plan

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada’s national hazard communication standard with regard to workplace hazardous products. The key elements of the system are: hazard classification, cautionary labelling of containers, the provision of safety data sheets, and worker education and training programs. It requires suppliers of hazardous products intended for use, handling or storage in Canadian workplaces to classify and provide hazard information through labels and safety data sheets.


In February 2011, Canada and the United States jointly announced the creation of the Regulatory Cooperation Council to facilitate trade between the two countries. In December 2011, it was announced, as part of the Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan, the coordinated implementation of the GHS for workplace hazardous products. Both Canada and the United States agreed to align and synchronize the implementation of common classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous products.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor has just issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Hazard Communication Standard - HCS (§ 1910.1200) to adopt the seventh revised edition of the GHS. Therefore, if Canada decides not to follow the same path, it would result in inconsistencies between the Canadian and United States regulations, increasing costs for the chemical industry and other businesses who sell or import hazardous products intended for workplace use.


  • 1.1. Align the Hazardous Products Regulations with the seventh revised edition of the GHS: it proposes amendments including flammable gases new definitions and divisions; expand the classification criteria for Oxidizing Solids; add new definition for germ cell mutagenicity and carcinogenicity; amend the classification criteria for skin corrosion and add new information elements concerning the physical and chemical properties of hazardous products.
  • 2.2. Clarify, add precision to, or make changes to certain provisions regarding animal studies, water - activated toxicants, Organic Peroxides or Flammable Gases.
  • 3.3. Correct and amend certain provisions to better reflect their original intentand provide clearer health and safety information that will be easier for workers to understand.
  • 4.4. Make administrative updates to the Hazardous Products Regulations paying particular attention to the UN recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) updates.
  • Stakeholders (representatives of suppliers, employers, worker organizations, and federal, provincial and territorial occupational safety and health government agencies) have been consulted on the proposed amendments, “expressing their support for the regulatory proposal and indicating that they are in favour of continuing to maintain alignment with the United States, provided that worker health and safety benefits and protections are maintained or increased and that the timing of the coming into force of the amended regulations is aligned with that of the United States, to the extent possible”.

    If you want more information and read the full document of the new proposed provision, you can do so at this link