WHMIS is Coming

Brooklyn Summerville, October 24, 2018

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) will fully align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals on December 1, 2018. This alignment will enhance the system for providing information for hazardous products that are used, handled, or stored in Canadian workplaces, that pose a threat to health or safety. The decision to align WHMIS with GHS was made in 2015, with a three-year implementation plan.

The plan will apply to four categories, suppliers, manufacturers, importers, and distributors. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety defines these groups for us as:

  1. Supplier – “A person who, in the course of business, sells or imports a hazardous product”
  2. Manufacturer – “A supplier who, in the course of business in Canada, manufactures, produces, processes, packages or labels a hazardous product and sells it.”
  3. Importer – “A supplier who brings hazardous product into Canada, but does not sell the product”
  4. Distributor – “A Canadian supplier to whom a hazardous product was sold, and who then resells the hazardous product without modifying it in any way. If a distributor does modify a hazardous product that they purchased (for example, by repackaging or relabeling it) and subsequently sells it, then the distributor meets the definition of a “manufacturer””

If you fall into one of these defined categories, beginning in December, you must classify hazardous products, proved labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to customers, and provide supplier labels on all containers of hazardous products sold or produced. To align with GHS, identifying symbols on your labels and SDS’ will now change.

Flame Over Circle GHS Pictogram
Flame Over Circle
Skull And Cross Bones GHS Pictogram
Skull And Cross Bones
Health Hazard GHS Pictogram
Health Hazard
Flame GHS Pictogram
Corrosion GHS Pictogram
Environment GHS Pictogram
Exploding Bomb GHS Pictogram
Exploding Bomb
Gas Cylinder GHS Pictogram
Gas Cylinder
Exclamation Mark GHS Pictogram
Exclamation Mark

Failure to display the correct pictograms both on labels and SDS’ is a violation of the regulations and can result in fines ranging from $250,000 to $500,000. In addition to such fines, seizure of products may occur if you are not able to immediately comply with the regulations. 

Unsure if you’re in compliance?

Reliance specializes in manufacturing GHS blank and pre-printed label stocks with specific top coatings and inks designed to resist fading and fit your application! If you are unsure about your label compliance, call Reliance at (800) 656-9476 or contact us here for a free label evaluation!