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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Amendments to Hazardous Products Regulations are coming: Is your business ready?

If you’re not already aware of the recent amendments to Canada’s Hazardous Products Regulations, it’s time to familiarize yourself. Employers need to understand what these amendments involve and how they may impact operations—especially since they are currently the focus of a Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) occupational hygiene campaign.

“We’re currently in the middle of a three-year transition period,” says Gordon Pajuluoma, Health and Safety Consultant with WSPS. “Suppliers have until December 14, 2025, to comply with the amended Hazardous Products Regulations. However, Ontario’s MLITSD has already started a focused inspection campaign to ensure employers are providing, or have plans to provide, updated WHMIS training to their workers that incorporates the amendments.”

Gordon explains that these amendments are part of Canada’s ongoing alignment with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). “These updates bring Canada in line with the seventh edition of GHS,” says Gordon. There are new categories, as well as requirements to include more specific details in some cases. “These changes ultimately benefit workers because they require more comprehensive health and safety information to be outlined on labels and safety data sheets (SDS), which will help ensure the proper controls are in place to protect workers,” says Gordon.

Keep in mind that during this transition period, you can’t have some labels and SDSs under the old system and some under the new system. “Suppliers must continue to operate under the old system until they are ready to flip completely over to the new system. They can’t have half of one and half of the other,” explains Gordon. He recommends taking the time now, to review and update all of your documentation. This will help with training and adoption among workers as well.

Follow these steps to comply with amendments

  1. Contact your suppliers. Every WHMIS label and SDS will need to be updated, so start reaching out to your suppliers to get the new versions. “It may not be as quick as going to the website to download an updated SDS, so give yourself some time,” advises Gordon.
  2. Replace labels and SDSs. For each chemical in your workplace, replace the old workplace labels and SDS (as necessary) with the new ones. If you store the same chemical in different locations, don’t forget to replace the labels on all the containers. The same goes for SDSs—replace them in multiple locations, if necessary.
  3. Revise your WHMIS training. Complete a thorough review of your WHMIS training and revise it to include the updated information. Do the same for any related procedures.
  4. Train your workers. One of the things MLITSD inspectors will look for is evidence that employees have received training that incorporates the amendments. Once you have an updated program, train your workers. “Don’t wait until the current WHMIS training expires to retrain. Be proactive to ensure everyone understands the new SDSs,” suggests Gordon.

    Find out more about the latest amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations. For details about the MLITSD’s current occupational hygiene campaign, check out their Compliance page.

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Categorized in: WSPS