12 Jul 2013

Comment Period Open for Proposed New Hazardous Products Regulations

On June 24, 2013, Health Canada published the long-anticipated description of proposed amendments to the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR), which, if accepted, would repeal and replace the CPR with the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). One of the initiatives under the HPR would be to implement the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of hazard classification and hazard communication in Canada. The proposed Canadian GHS initiative would attempt to align the Canadian system with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) and, to a lesser extent, with the European Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) Regulation.

The proposed HPR is intended to ensure that Canadian workers are provided with health and safety information related to hazardous products, to either the same or a greater degree than is currently required under the CPR.  Additionally, the proposed HPR will closely align with many aspects of the European CLP regulations and the USA OSHA HCS, with the only exceptions being where the new HPR must comply with existing Canadian legislation and regulations, or where the existing protections of Canadian workers must be maintained. Some significant differences between the proposed HPR and the existing US OSHA HCS include the addition of a definition and classification criteria for combustible dusts and the creation of a separate hazard class for Biohazardous Infectious Materials.

How does this affect your business?

The proposed Canadian Hazardous Products Regulations would implement changes in: (1) how hazardous product classifications are established; (2) how physical hazards are classified; (3) how health hazards are classified; (4) hazard communication; and (5) exemptions. To industry, this could mean changes to hazardous product labels, existing Material Safety Data Sheets, and a host of other hazard communication (Haz-Com) related documentation that is intended to ensure the safety of Canadian workers.

These proposed amendments will be open for public comment until September 15, 2013.

Do you have questions about GHS, Haz-Com, Classification and Labeling of Consumer Products, or other related topics? Share your comments or questions below and our expert, Joyce Borkhoff, will get back to you.

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