Health Canada launch consultation on workplace chemical containers labelling

8 July 2013 (Last Updated July 8th, 2013 18:30)

The health department of Canada are launching a consultation to begin the process of applying the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) to containers for workplace chemicals.

GHS Pictogram Flamme

The health department of Canada are launching a consultation to begin the process of applying the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) to containers for workplace chemicals.

Health Canada wish to introduce GHS for workplace chemicals in a bid to promote workplace safety. The department also believes that applying definitions and safety information requirements that are accepted worldwide will boost international trade.

Chemicals used in the workplace are produced and sold globally and the label information on the containers currently depends on the safety rules in place where they are produced and sold.

Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq said that applying the GHS would make it easier for workers to understand and reduce their exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace.

"This important initiative delivers on a Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council commitment," he added.

The system would mean simpler compliance rules for employers and fewer barriers for producers of chemicals to sell their products in Canada and any country where it is applied.

A memorandum of understanding was recently signed between Health Canada and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which allows them to join forces to implement the GHS in their respective jurisdictions.

Following the consultation, the department intends to publish a formal regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for broader public comment.


Image: Health Canada will launch a new consultation that begins the process of applying the GHS on containers for workplace chemicals. Photo: courtesy of Torsten Henning.