Article

Canada Publishes Proposals to Amend the HPR to Align with the 7th Revised Edition of GHS and to Amend Schedule 2 of the HPA

Posted on: January 13, 2021

by Tammy J. Murphy

workers looking at a clipboard in a warehouse - Canada Publishes Proposals to Amend the HPR to Align with the 7th Revised Edition of GHS and to Amend Schedule 2 of the HPAOn 19 December 2020, two proposals were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.  Issued by the Department of Health, both affect the requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Canada’s national standard for hazard communication, by amending the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).

There are a diverse range of amendments proposed for the HPR, including aligning the HPR with the 7th revision of the GHS Purple Book (from the current alignment with the 5th revision), adding provisions for clarity to existing requirements, amending “specific revisions to better reflect their original intent” as well as administrative updates.  Many of the amendments are necessary for the alignment to revision 7 to occur.

Highlights of the proposed amendments to the HPR include the following:

  • Changes to the Flammable Gases hazard class:
    • Subdividing Category 1 (extremely flammable gases) into two Subcategories:
      • Subcategory 1A – includes pyrophoric gases and chemically unstable gases
      • Subcategory 1B – includes flammable non-pyrophoric gases and chemically stable gases with a lower flammability hazard than 1A
    • Addition of definitions for “chemically unstable gas” and “pyrophoric gas”
    • Repealing provisions in Part 3, Labelling, that would no longer apply
  • Changes to the Flammable Aerosols hazard class:
    • Name change to “Aerosols”
    • Addition of Category 3 for non-flammable aerosols
    • Removal of “flammable aerosol” definition
    • Addition/deletion of provisions in regards to labelling and classification, the most significant of which is a new provision indicating that products in the Aerosols hazard class need not be classified in any category of the Gases Under Pressure hazard class.
  • Changes to the Oxidizing Solids hazard class:
    • Addition of new test procedure
    • Expansion of classification criteria
  • Amending and/or adding definitions for numerous Health Hazard classifications in order to align with revision 7
  • Amending classification criteria for the Skin Corrosion/irritation hazard class:
  • Amending sections of Schedule 1, Information Elements on Safety Data Sheets:
    • Section 2 – Hazard Identification
    • Section 3 – Composition/Information on Ingredients. Notable is the disclosure requirement for all hazardous ingredients which are present in a mixture above its relevant cut-off limits regardless of whether that ingredient contributes to the classification of the mixture.
    • Section 9 – Physical and Chemical Properties
    • Section 14 – Transport Information
  • Clarification of the following:
    • Classification in the most severe hazard category/sub-category for which criteria are met
    • Non-allowed use for certain animal studies
    • Label exemptions for certain laboratory samples
    • Applicable exemptions for products ‘sold to an employer who has filed’ a CBI claim
  • Amendment of provisions dealing with “substances and mixtures, that when in contact with water, emit a toxic gaseous substance (Water-Activated Toxicants)”
  • Amendments to Part 4, Safety Data Sheets, to better align with Part 3, Labelling, in terms of combining hazard statements and precautionary statements as well as noting that the omission of non-applicable precautionary statements for labels also apply to safety data sheets. The Part 4 amendments also clarify that the reduced information allowed on a label due to container size also applies to safety data sheets.
  • Addition of the allowed use of narrower concentration ranges that still fall within prescribed ranges for disclosure of hazardous ingredients
  • Requirements for when significant new data is discovered and subsequent supply of the amended safety data sheet and/or label
  • Addition to and/or correction of the classification criteria for the following classes:
    • Organic Peroxides – Type G
    • Combustible Dusts – Category 1
    • Reproductive Toxicity – Category 2
    • Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Single Exposure – Category 3
    • Acute Toxicity

Two proposed changes for the HPA are needed to align with the expected revisions to the HPR.  Schedule 2, Hazard Classes (Physical Hazard Classes) of the HPA would change as follows:

  • Changing Item 3 from “Flammable aerosols” to “Aerosols”;
  • Repealing Item 19 “Pyrophoric gases” as “Pyrophoric gases” would be included under “Flammable Gases Subcategory 1A”.

A 2-year transition period is also proposed in which sale or import of a hazardous product can be in accordance with the former Regulations and classification of a product, mixture, material or substance may also be in accordance with the former Regulations as long as the category/subcategory is per the former Act.

There is a 70-day, from date of publication, public comment period.  The reader should consult the complete text of the two proposals for full details on the expected amendments.

Additional information about WHMIS can be found on Health Canada’s website:  https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/occupational-health-safety/workplace-hazardous-materials-information-system.html

Although this move to revision 7 of GHS is in accordance with Canada’s spring 2020 commitment to the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan, the United States, as of this writing, has not submitted its proposal to move to revision 7 of GHS to the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Recommended Action Items:

Become familiar with the proposed amendments to establish the impact on your products, substances, mixtures or materials.

Determine if any of your products, substances, mixtures or materials will need to be reclassified.

Submit comments, if applicable, prior to 27 February 2021.

References:

Department of Health, Hazardous Products Act, Proposed “Regulations Amending the Hazardous Products Regulations (GHS, Seventh Revised Edition).” Canada Gazette, Part I, 19 December 2020 edition (see pages 4236 to 4299):  http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2020/2020-12-19/pdf/g1-15451.pdf

Department of Health, Hazardous Products Act, Proposed “Order Amending Schedule 2 to the Hazardous Products Act.” Canada Gazette, Part I, 19 December 2020 edition (see pages 4300 to 4301):  http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2020/2020-12-19/pdf/g1-15451.pdf

Keywords:

Canada, Department of Health

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

Hazardous Products Act (HPA)

Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR)

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling for Chemicals (GHS)

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