Newsletter of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries
Volume 8, No. 1, January 2016
GLOBAL HARMONIZED SYSTEM (GHS)
As the date for implementing GHS approaches it is important to evaluate your business’s WHMIS procedures to ensure that current labeling, SDS, and training requirements are being met, and to prepare for coming changes. December 1st, 2018 marks the completion date for the transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, at which point the new GHS system must be in use.
Transition timelines vary depending on whether a business is considered a manufacturer and importer, distributor, or employer. Government resources should be consulted to determine which timeline your business should follow and whether any territorial or provincial legislative updates will affect your implementation of GHS.
What is GHS?
GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products, and communicates health and safety information on labels and safety data sheets.
The purpose of GHS is to create the same set of rules for classifying hazards, and the same format and content for labels and safety data sheets (SDS) for use around the world. The system was created by the United Nations and was developed by an international team of hazard communication specialists.
Why is GHS necessary?
GHS was created to unify the various systems for classification and labeling of chemical products currently in existence. When a variety of classification systems are used, it is difficult and expensive for governments to regulate and enforce all of the various systems. Complying with a range of requirements also presents significant costs for companies and creates additional training and educational burdens for employees attempting to learn important chemical safety information.
Safety Data Sheets:
The GHS system uses the term SDS in lieu of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) normally required by WHMIS. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) provides a sample SDS and software information for a product called CANWrite, which can be used to help create SDS content.
For more information:
The Government of Canada has published reference documents outlining the transition to WHMIS 2015 and the GHS system. In-depth explanations of the preceding information, free training videos, manuals for purchase, important definitions, and implementation timelines are all accessible online:
The Province of Ontario has introduced Bill 151, the Waste Free Ontario Act, which aims to transform waste diversion in Ontario and increase recycling. The proposed legislation can be found on the environmental registry, here. Comments will be accepted until February 29, 2016.
CARI President Tracy Shaw will be attending a stakeholder consultation meeting at the end of January in Ottawa. Contact CARI staff with any questions or concerns, or for a list of dates and locations where regional consultation sessions will be held.
75th Annual Convention
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS
Michigan ISRI Annual Auto Show
International Indian Metals Recycling Conference
Steel Tube and Pipe Conference
ISRI 2016 Convention & Exposition
Las Vegas, Nevada
Canadian Association of Recycling Industries
130 Albert Street Suite 1906
Ottawa, On K1P 5G4