The Federal and Provincial legislation applies to the working of Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHIMS). Federal law regulates the products under WHMIS besides taking care of the sale or importation of these materials. The individuals manufacturing, selling, importing, or distributing hazardous products are called as suppliers.

When the hazardous product enters a workplace, then jurisdiction shifts from federal to provincial governments (except central jurisdiction work units, where the Canada Labour Code applies). The provincial legislation considers hazardous products usage and defines employers’ responsibilities and the capability of workers working with dangerous products.

It was on February 11, 2015, that the Government of Canada issued Hazardous Products Regulation (HPR), besides amending the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and aiming to update the WHMIS 1988. The modification gave birth to WHMIS 2015 for workers. The legislation nullified was the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and the Ingredients Disclosure List (IDL). There were changes in classification, but the roles and responsibilities of employers and suppliers remain unchanged.

HPR gives an overview of dangerous product classification. If HPR covers a product and it meets the criteria being a part of the hazardous category, then it is considered a dangerous product. So, it is necessary for workers to have education and training about WHIMS. Nowadays, employees in hazardous environments get training through Vocam WHMIS e-learning courses.

HPA prohibited the sale and purchase of hazardous products in the workplace. It got amended in 2014. The amendment outlines the responsibilities of suppliers selling dangerous materials to show proper labels and safety data sheets needed to show to its customers.

A workplace comes under evaluation by Provincial Legislation that is governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA). It outlines employers, supervisors, and employees’ roles in the workplace. The purpose and responsibilities ensure that the workplace is healthy and safe to work. If the working conditions are unsatisfactory, then workers have the right to refuse work. And can report it to the Joint Health and Safety Committee. To equal to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), all of the WHMIS policies got amended.

Products Exempted from WHMIS Legislation

Following are the products excluded from the WHMIS 2015 legislation:

• Drugs, Cosmetics, or related devices.

• Explosives.

• Pest control.

• Consumer products.

• Wood products.

• Tobacco materials

• Nuclear or radioactive materials (as defined in the Nuclear Safety and Control Act).

• Manufactured items.

• Hazardous waste for disposal or recycling purposes.

All of the above come under other legislation that works accordingly.

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