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HEALTH CANADA REGULATION UPDATE

Health Canada will propose amendments to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the Controlled products Regulations (CPR) this spring. This will initiate the use of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemicals in the workplace inCanadaIt will also see GHS implementation aligned to that in the US. Both countries are aiming to implement GHS for workplace chemicals by 1 June 2015

Currently in Canada, the HPA regulates the use of labels and safety data sheets for the sale and import of hazardous products in Canada. CPR sets out classification criteria, labelling and safety data sheet elements. Amendment of the legislation will give Health Canada the authority to implement GHS and will also result in changes to federal, provincial and territorial occupational safety and health legislation. Changes to the federal Acts will also require consequential and coordination amendments to some other federal Acts, such as the hazardous materials information review act and its workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS). 

Canada plans to finalise amendments to all federal regulations by spring 2014, leaving a year for occupational safety and health agencies to amend corresponding legislation and industry to implement the GHS requirements and training. 

Alignment with the GHS will prompt changes in current WHMIS hazard classification criteria, labelling and safety data sheet requirements. These will also see changes in provincial hazardous substance regulations. 

The aim is to maintain or increase current levels of worker protection. Currently, there are no actions stemming from this, as classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals still follows the WHMIS format until mid-2015. 

Source: Chemical Watch newsletter 24 January 2013

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