WHMIS UpdateCanada continues to hammer out the details of its GHS regulation. As part of this process, Canada has released a new WHMIS update.Under the previous revision, manufacturers were required to display the exact percent concentration of each hazardous chemical on their SDS. This requirement could only be circumvented by paying a hefty fee to register your product as a trade secret.

What Was Wrong With WHMIS?

Needless to say, this rule was broadly criticized for being overly burdensome on business. Specifically, small businesses which are unable to produce the fee to protect their intellectual property. Critics also pointed out that the government failed to provide any safety justification for the rule. Additionally, many products do not have the exact same formulation in every batch, creating further problems with compliance.

In response to these criticisms, the Canadian government has decided to amend WHMIS. Under the new rule, manufacturers can provide concentration ranges in section 3 of their SDS. Unfortunately, the WHMIS-mandated concentration ranges do not correspond to the GHS classification ranges, leading to potential further complications to authoring SDS.

What’s New?

Under the new revision, you can report your ingredient concentrations as any of the following ranges:

  • 0.1 to 1%
  • 0.5 to 1.5%
  • 1 to 5%
  • 3 to 7%
  • 5 to 10%
  • 7 to 13%
  • 10 to 30%
  • 15 to 40%
  • 30 to 60%
  • 45 to 70%
  • 60 to 80%
  • 65 to 85%
  • 80 to 100%

Additionally, if your actual formula varies outside of any one of these ranges (for example: if your range is 0%-33%) then you can “combine” the maximum and minimum value from two ranges.

What Does This Mean for You?

Overall, this change will reduce WHMIS 2015’s burden on chemical manufacturers and suppliers. Companies that authored SDS under the previous rule may want to revise their sheets to better protect their formula from competitors.

WHMIS Compliance

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