In Canada, WHMIS Compliance Initiative Starts in July

June 30, 2017 Dave Anderson

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recently shared an update on WHMIS 2015. Canada has aligned its Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), resulting in new standardized classification criteria; label requirements; and safety data sheet (SDS) requirements.

The Canadian federal government updated WHMIS rules in 2015. WHMIS 2015 includes new definitions, new harmonized criteria for hazard classification, and new rules for supplier labels and safety data sheets (SDSs). Suppliers and employers importing hazardous products for use at their workplace and/or selling (including distributing) hazardous products are required to keep “specific purchasing and/or sales information” for six years after the end of the year to which they relate. Those who manufacture and sell hazardous products must keep “specific sales information”.

To increase WHMIS 2015 awareness, Health Canada is planning a WHMIS 2015 compliance and enforcement initiative for the 2017-2018 fiscal year (April - March). 

From July-September 2017, select employers and suppliers in federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions will receive a compliance promotion package, which contains information helpful to understanding the new WHMIS 2015 requirements. Some of these resources are listed below.

From October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 specially designated Hazardous Products Act (HPA) inspectors may visit your workplace to inspect and promote compliance. Inspectors may request a copy of your “specific purchasing information” and/or your “specific sales information,” and up to five SDSs/labels for your hazardous products. Inspectors may not provide advance notice of the inspection.

Contact CCOHS or for inquiries.
For WHMIS updates visit

Free WHMIS 2015 Training and Resources from CCOHS:

Browse GHS labels at

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