March 2023 issue: Workplace Hazardous Products Program newsletter

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Amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations

On January 4, 2023, the Regulations Amending the Hazardous Products Regulations (GHS, Seventh Revised Edition) and the Order Amending Schedule 2 to the Hazardous Products Act were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The amendments, which came into force on December 15, 2022, aim to better protect workers by requiring more comprehensive and detailed health and safety information on product labels and safety data sheets.

The Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) amendments provide a 3-year transition period ending on December 14, 2025.

Learn more about the HPR amendments and the transition period.

Consultation on removal of the consumer product exclusion

The consultation period on the Notice of Intent for the proposal to remove the consumer product exclusion from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) ended on March 16, 2023.

A summary of “what we heard” will be published in spring 2023.

Modernized approach to stakeholder engagement

Dynamic stakeholder engagement is critical to inform effective decision-making. With this in mind, we recently modernized our approach to stakeholder engagement to broaden our reach and better inform and advance workplace safety initiatives.

Moving forward, we will tailor the type and extent of engagement according to the complexity of the topic. These will range from informational newsletters (such as this one) to bilateral and multi-stakeholder meetings. See below for details about a multi-stakeholder workshop taking place in May 2023.

Our approach aligns with the Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada Guidelines on public engagement, employing a continuum of engagement and founded on the principle that engagement should be meaningful, effective and consistent.

The previous consultative body, the Current Issues Committee (CIC), was closed in September 2022. We thank all CIC members for their dedication and invaluable expertise over the past years and look forward to their continued engagement under this new approach.

Upcoming multi-stakeholder workshop (May 2023)

We are hosting a virtual multi-stakeholder workshop for all groups within the WHMIS community on May 24 and 25, 2023, from 12:30pm to 3:30pm (EDT) each day.

This will be an opportunity for stakeholders and partners to lead discussions on various topics, with the intent of starting a dialogue and greater information-sharing to improve worker safety and hazard communication of workplace chemical products.

Topics to be discussed include:  

We invite all those interested to join. If you haven’t already confirmed your attendance, please contact us for details:

Publication of technical decision trees

New educational logic models, called technical decision trees, are now available on

These trees help suppliers visualize the potential logic flow for classifying the health hazards of products in Canada. They cover the classification requirements of each of the health hazard classes outlined in the 12 subparts of Part 8 of the former HPR. In the event of a discrepancy between the technical decision trees and the regulations, the regulations prevail. ​

We jointly developed these trees with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). We recognize the important contributions of stakeholders who provided feedback on the visual design and content of these tools in the summer of 2022.

Additional trees that reflect the classification requirements of the amended HPR will be available by winter 2024 to support suppliers during the 3-year transition period.

Publication of hazardous substance assessments

New hazardous substance assessments (HSAs) are now available:

HSAs are educational resources that support the creation of compliant safety data sheets and labels of hazardous products by providing information on how we would classify a given substance for the physical and health hazard classes of Parts 7 and 8, respectively, of the HPR. HSAs provide a fully referenced assessment supporting each classification and are based solely on publicly available data. To support suppliers during the 3-year HPR transition, the 7 new HSAs reflect the requirements of both the former and amended HPR.

Stakeholders may comment on published HSAs or nominate substances for HSA development (with rationale) for consideration at any time by sending an email to

Summary of UN GHS Sub-Committee of Experts 43rd session

The 43rd session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS, collectively UNSCEGHS) took place in Geneva from December 7 to 9, 2022.

Overall, the recommendations by the UNSCEGHS were aligned with Canadian positions and interests.

The UNSCEGHS confirmed the decisions taken at its 40th and 42nd sessions on the amendments to the 9th revised edition of the GHS and adopted further amendments that will appear in the 10th revised edition of the GHS. This includes revisions to Chapter 3.4 for skin sensitization.

Status updates were provided from the informal correspondence groups on their ongoing work, including the work led by Canada and the United States as co-chairs of the informal correspondence group on the possible development of a global list of chemicals classified in accordance with the GHS. There was agreement on the program of work for the 2023-2024 biennium, which includes continuing the modernization of the scientific criteria (Non-Animal Test Methods, Germ Cell Mutagenicity) as well as improvements to the hazard communication elements for product labels and safety data sheets. There was general support for the continuation of the global list work. A new working group was formed on the “potential hazard issues and their presentation in the GHS”.

Canada will continue to advance these issues on an intersessional basis through participation in the informal correspondence groups.

The UNSCEGHS elected Nina John (Austria) as chairperson and Lynn Berndt-Weis (Canada) as vice-chairperson for the period 2023-2024.

Further details can be found in the Report of the Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals on its forty-third session.

Publication of compliance and enforcement policy for workplace hazardous products

The compliance and enforcement policy for workplace hazardous products is now available.

This is an administrative document that describes our national compliance and enforcement approach for activities conducted in relation to the sale and importation of hazardous products that fall under the HPA. The regulated activities include sale and importation under the HPA and the filing of a claim for exemption under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) as applicable.

Future newsletter content

Is there a topic that you would like us to include in a future newsletter? We would love to hear from you. Email us at

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