A product which falls within any of the hazard criteria set out in Part IV of the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) is a WHMIS
"controlled product" and, unless exempt under Section 12 of the Hazardous Products Act (HPA), is subject to the MSDS and labelling requirements of the HPA.
To determine if a product is included in one or more WHMIS classes, the supplier must use the procedures set out in section 33 of the CPR. The portion of the Reference Manual corresponding to section 33 provides guidance on the use of structure-activity relationships, sufficiency of evidence, weight of evidence and classification of mixtures. Guidance on the use of professional judgement is provided below.
Paragraph 19(1)(d) of the CPR establishes a direct correlation between the WHMIS classification and the symbol(s) which must be depicted on the label. The classification can also provide guidance as to what information should be disclosed on the MSDS and label and what information should be communicated to workers through education and training.
There is no legal requirement to disclose the WHMIS classification on the MSDS nor label. However, if it is company policy to disclose such information, then all of the WHMIS classifications into which the product falls must be disclosed. For Classes B and D, if it is company policy to disclose the division and subdivision(s), then all or the applicable subclassification must be disclosed.
Links are provided on the "Publications" page under "Acts and Regulations"
Neither the HPA nor the CPR impose a legal requirement to test materials to determine the WHMIS classification. As a fundamental principle, during the development of WHMIS, all stakeholders agreed that nothing in the hazard criteria, nor any part of WHMIS, would require additional toxicological testing. Rather, WHMIS was designed to make the best use of existing toxicological data. There is, however, an implicit requirement to conduct testing to respect the MSDS ingredient disclosure requirements stipulated in Section 13 of the HPA if this information is not known to the supplier/importer of a WHMIS controlled product.
Regarding physical hazards, in the absence of test results on the product or test results on a product with similar properties to classify the product, a supplier must recognize that if the supplier sells the product and has classified it as not meeting the criterion and the product does in fact meet the criterion, the supplier will be in violation of the law.
The following guidelines on the use of professional judgement were developed by a tripartite technical subcommittee and endorsed by the WHMIS Current Issues Committee, a committee comprised of representatives of suppliers, employers organized labour and federal, provincial and territorial governments; (see "Administration & Consultation" page on this site for the CIC terms of reference).
A supplier who intends to sell or import a product for use in a workplace in Canada must classify his product to decide if it is a WHMIS controlled product and therefore subject to WHMIS requirements. In classifying a product the supplier must consider all of the criteria listed in Part IV of the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR). Prior to classifying a product, the supplier may want to consider if the product is exempt from WHMIS requirements under section 12 of the Hazardous Products Act.
The extent to which professional judgement is used by the supplier will depend on the specific criteria being considered. Because of this, the discussion of professional judgement will be focussed under the different kinds of criteria.
"information of which the supplier is aware or ought reasonably to be aware". Every supplier
"ought reasonably to be aware"of appropriate published literature. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is one organization capable of conducting a comprehensive literature search. When additional information is made available to the supplier by the appropriate regulatory agencies, by industry or trade association(s), and by labour organization(s), the supplier is expected to evaluate that information.
"ought reasonably to be aware of"(as in (4) above). If the supplier finds
"sufficient"human data to show that the product meets or does not meet a criterion, the supplier may use this information to classify the product. Professional judgement must be used in making an assessment of what is
"sufficient"in each case and taking into account animal test results.
"There is Evidence"of a Physiological Effect, without Specifying a Test Method which includes CPR sections 55 (a), 56, 57 (1) (a), 61 (b), 64, 65 (e):
"evidence"of an effect. This would include giving consideration to the particulars of the test method or study and the relevance of the results or conclusions in the occupational situation. There is nothing in the CPR to prevent a supplier from over-classifying a product.
"evidence"that the product meets a criterion and also finds
"evidence"to the contrary, the supplier must consider the product as meeting the criterion for the purpose of classification. The supplier may make reference to the contrary evidence on the MSDS, but such disclosure must be done in accordance with the qualifications referred to in section 13 of the CPR.
"antimony trioxide production"or
"manufacture of magenta".
Following is an alphabetical listing of hazard criteria specified in the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and the applicable sections of the CPR. The CPR do not specify criteria for aquatic toxicity nor criteria specifically dedicated to endocrine disruption.
|Endpoint||Pure Substance / Tested Mixture||Untested Mixture|
|acute toxicity||CPR 46, 47 and 49||CPR 48 and 51|
|biohazardous infectious||CPR 64||CPR 64|
|carcinogenicity||CPR 54||CPR 58|
|chronic toxicity||CPR 52 and 59||CPR 58 and 63|
|corrosion||CPR 65||CPR 65(f)|
|embryo toxicity||CPR 53||CPR 58|
|irritation, skin or eye||CPR 60||CPR 63|
|mutagenicity||CPR 57||CPR 58|
|reproductive toxicity||CPR 55||CPR 58|
|sensitization, respiratory tract||CPR 56||CPR 58|
|sensitization, skin||CPR 61||CPR 63|
|teratogenicity||CPR 53||CPR 58|
|Endpoint||Product, Material or Substance|
|combustible liquids||CPR section 38|
|compressed gases||CPR section 34|
|corrosion||CPR section 65|
|flammable aerosols||CPR section 40|
|flammable gases||CPR section 36|
|flammable liquids||CPR section 37|
|flammable reactive||CPR section 41|
|flammable solids||CPR section 39|
|oxidizing||CPR section 42|
|reactivity||CPR section 66|
Some of the following hyperlinks are to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act. The material found there is therefore in the language(s) used by the sites in question.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) - The CHEMINFO database provides detailed evaluation of chemical substances including the WHMIS classification. There may be fees associated with the use of some of the databases www.ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca or general information at www.ccohs.ca
Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, Service du répertoire toxicologique - The Répertoire toxicologique's Web site provides information on chemical products used in the workplace including WHMIS classification. This information allows employers and workers to have a better knowledge of the health and safety risks associated with these products, thereby promoting the putting in place of appropriate prevention methods. The classification can be consulted by english names or CAS numbers at this address: http://www.reptox.csst.qc.ca/SIMDUT.htm
1199, de Bleury, 4th Floor,
C.P. 6056, Succ. Centre-ville,
Montréal (Québec), Canada
phone: 514-906-3080; firstname.lastname@example.org ; www.reptox.csst.qc.ca ( répertoire toxicologique)
"The Evaluation and Hazard Classification of Toxicological Information for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Material Safety Data Sheets", Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 27, 61-74 (1998); Rosanne Côté, Hugh Davis, Colleen Dimock, Mary Korpan, Ken Loewen, and Lawrence Segal.
"Substances Identified as Teratogens, Mutagens, Carcinogens"published by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, Service du répertoire toxicologique, Case postale 1056, Succursale postale Desjardins, Montréal (Québec) Canada H5B 1C2; tél (514) 873-6374; email@example.com
"Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Classification - A [February 22, 1988] Workshop"; Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), CCOHS No. P88-13E, ISBN 0-660-12955-8, tel. (905) 572-2981; www.ccohs.ca