Workplaces falling under provincial Occupational Health and Safety jurisdiction must fully comply with the new provincial WHMIS requirements by December 1, 2018.
WHMIS is an integrated system of federal, provincial and territorial legislation and regulations that was first implemented in 1988. It is aimed at ensuring that workers and workplaces can identify potentially harmful chemicals and have the information needed to ensure safety. The system comprises images and labels to identify potentially harmful chemicals; standardized documents to provide necessary safety information; and education and training requirements to ensure workers know what they need to stay safe.
Across Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador, WHMIS legislation has been amended to adopt elements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) which is used internationally. The new Canadian WHMIS regime is known as WHMIS 2015.
WHMIS 2015 changes include:
Controlled Products are now called Hazardous Products;
New classifications for hazardous chemicals;
Different hazard classes/categories and more of them;
Supplier label requirements include new pictograms for hazard classes and prescribed hazard statements and signal words;
Safety data sheets have a new, standardized 16-section format with prescribed information elements; and
Safety data sheets are required to be updated on an ongoing basis, as new relevant information about a product becomes available. There is no longer a requirement to update a safety data sheet every three years.