Canadian Occupational Safety

November/December 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 18 of 31 19 WHAT IS WHMIS 2015? Limited Time Bundle Offer JHSC Certifi cation Part 1 eLearning + Part 2 facilitator-led Training starting at : $599 Enroll Now JHSC Certifi cation Part 1 eLearning : $299 For more information and to register visit CLASS IS ALWAYS IN SESSION JHSC Certifi cation Part 1 eLearning is now available. standardized elements to ensure that the critical details will always be available to workers who handle that chemical." In Canada, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is aligned with GHS. The GHS is part of national legislation in more than 70 countries. WHMIS is Canada's national hazard communication standard. The new WHMIS, entitled WHMIS 2015, integrates the GHS. The previous system is known as WHMIS 1988. Each worksite needs an SDS for each hazardous material present at that site — they need to be easily accessible when needed. An SDS contains 16 sections: material identification; hazard(s) identification; composition information; first aid measures; firefighting measures; accidental release measures; handling and storage; exposure controls and personal protection; physical and chemical properties; stability and reactivity; toxicological information; ecological information; disposal considerations; transport information; regulatory information; and other information. Ecological information, disposal considerations and transport information are non-mandatory. What is the purpose of an SDS and who needs it? An SDS provides "enough information so employers can take the necessary measures to protect workers," says R. Hallsworth. "There are now over 150 million different chemicals in existence. There is no way anyone can understand the properties and hazards of each one," he says. So, who needs it? "If you have hazardous products, you need Safety Data Sheets," says R. Hallsworth. He mentions that some workplaces will have 50 sheets, while others will have more than 50,000! Generally speaking, says McFadden, you need an SDS for any chemical mixture that is present in the workplace, classified as "hazardous" Source: CCOHS under applicable regulations and not specifically exempt from the requirements. "Let's say you've found a chemical that meets those criteria, and you need to find or create an SDS for it. How do you begin? There's an easy answer here: You can get the document you need from the same place you got the chemical itself," says McFadden. He says chemical suppliers are legally obligated to provide a complete and accurate SDS for each hazardous chemical they produce or import and, in fact, many suppliers make their SDSs available online. On the other hand, if it is your organization producing the chemical materials, then it is your organization's responsibility to produce an SDS that describes it. "Chemical products are very much integrated with and really critical to our lives as we know it today," says L. Hallsworth. "For the most part, chemicals developed by the chemical industry are tools used to make things possible, easier, cheaper, last longer, perform better, etc. Examples are glues, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 2015 replaces the 1988 legislation It is aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Health Canada is the governing body responsible for the overall WHMIS supplier-related laws WHMIS is additionally regulated in the workplace by provincial, territorial and federal governments under existing OHS legislation Suppliers and employers must use and follow WHMIS 2015 for labels and SDSs

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