What regulates WHMIS?

Published: 16th October 2009
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The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is a Canadian set of legislature which regulates all hazardous chemicals across the country. The WHMIS laws, including specific hazard requirements and product exemptions, are integrated into the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) under Canadian law. There are several different regulations created under these two Acts, all of which incorporate the WHMIS laws. These regulations include the:

- Controlled Products Regulations (CPR)

- Ingredient Disclosure List (IDL)

- Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations (HMIRR)

The Hazardous Products Act (HPA) states that, under WHMIS, every controlled product must be provided with a proper hazard label and MSDS when being sold for use, storage, or transportation to a Canadian buyer or manufacturer. The HPA sets out rules for which chemicals are required to be disclosed on a WHMIS MSDS. The HPA also declares any product exemptions under WHMIS as well as prohibited and restricted products under law.

The Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) states the specific criteria necessary for a chemical product to become a controlled product under WHMIS. The CPR sets forth the informational statements and symbols required to be placed on both hazard labels and WHMIS MSDSs. The CPR also gives the definition of the WHMIS classes and divisions of these classes for the WHMIS controlled products.

The Ingredient Disclosure List (IDL) is a document which lists substances to be disclosed on a MSDS if the hazardous chemical is present at or above a specified cut-off concentration.

The Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) places a legal committee in charge of the reviewing of claims and appeals in regards to the optional exemption of disclosing confidential product information normally required for WHMIS. This committee decides if a chemical company is worthy of a hazardous product exemption in which case the company does not have to disclose the identity of the chemical product because of confidentiality issues.

The Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations (HMIRR) sets forth the criteria for the committee under the HMIRA to use for determining whether or not a company requires and deserves the product exemption under WHMIS.Jeff Burns writes for Nexreg Compliance Inc., a company that provides WHMIS MSDS authoring and MSDS services.

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