WHMIS 2015 and GHS in Canada

On February 11, 2015, the Government of Canada published the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) in the Canada Gazette, Part II. These regulations, combined with amendments to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA), modified the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 1988 to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling for Chemicals (GHS) for workplace chemicals in Canada. This modified WHMIS is referred to as WHMIS 2015. With the incorporation of the GHS, hazard classification and communication requirements of WHMIS have been aligned with the workplace hazard classification and communication requirements of the United States (U.S.) as well as other Canadian trading partners.

The GHS is an internationally consistent approach to classifying chemicals according to their physical, health and environmental hazards, and to communicating hazard information through labels and safety data sheets. The US adopted GHS in 2012 with a full implementation date of June 1, 2015. The timelines for Canadian companies are slightly offset, with manufacturers and suppliers needing to comply by June 1, 2017. Full implementation in Canada for others including distributors and employers is expected by December 2018.

ANAC has developed specific guidance for the Canadian feed industry in May 2017 which members can download below. 

ANAC Guidance: Hazardous Products Regulations (2015) for the Grain Handling, Feed Ingredient & Processing Facilities


The following resources may also be useful for companies implementing WHMIS 2015:

  • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety’s portal to WHMIS information: www.whmis.org
    • This site is for all WHMIS stakeholders, including suppliers, employers, workers and trainers. It also houses specific WHMIS requirements for any jurisdiction.
  • Health Canada’s WHMIS and GHS website is: http://whmis.gc.ca. Health Canada is responsible for the regulations related to GHS. Specific questions related to WHMIS should be directed to: WHMIS_SIMDUT@hc-sc.gc.ca
  • The Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau’s full “Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the HPA and the HPR – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements” released in December 2016. A PDF copy of the guidance can be requested via their website.
  • The 2015 GHS Guidance Document for industry by the American Feed Industry Association, Corn Refiners Association, National Grain and Feed Association and North American Millers Association can be found on their website.