Workplace Health

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's national hazard communication standard for workplace chemicals. WHMIS is implemented through interlocking federal, provincial and territorial legislation. Federal legislation ( Hazardous Products Act) and related regulations establish classification criteria and set requirements for both labelling of workplace products, including nanomaterials and for related material safety data sheets (MSDSs) that provide information on the health and safety measures workers need to protect themselves.

Federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety legislation and regulations require employers to ensure that workplace products are properly labelled, that MSDSs are available to workers, and that workers receive education and training on these products.

An MSDS must disclose hazardous ingredients and health and safety measures, (including engineering controls and personal protective equipment such as specific types of respirators). In addition to specified categories of chemical and toxicological information, an MSDS must disclose all additional hazard information that is available with respect to the product.  This includes hazards that may be specifically attributable to particle size as well as exposure limits.

Research on the health effects and toxicity of nanomaterials is growing, and suppliers must communicate new information in MSDSs as it becomes available.

For more information on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, please visit: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System - Official National Site.

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