Review of WHMIS Exemptions ("Exclusions")
WHMIS Exemptions of the Hazardous Products Act - Overview:
When WHMIS was initially implemented on October 31,1988, certain categories of products were exempted from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA). These "exclusions" were introduced to prevent a delay in implementing the system. These excluded products, listed in Section 12 of the HPA, are:
- explosives within the meaning of the Explosives Act;
- cosmetics, devices, drugs or food within the meaning of the Food and Drugs Act;
- control products within the meaning of the Pest Control Products Act;
- nuclear substance, within the meaning of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, that is radioactive [1997, c. 9, s. 105];
- hazardous waste;
- products, materials or substances included in Part II of Schedule I of the HPA and packaged as consumer products;
- wood, or products made of wood;
- tobacco, or products made of tobacco; and
- manufactured articles.
The federal legislation implementing WHMIS (i.e., Chapter 24 (3rd Supplement) Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985) contains a provision that the exclusions in the HPA be referred to a committee of Parliament after the end of October 1990 for review with respect to the need for their continuance (section 57).
WHMIS Exclusions Review Process:
As the exclusions are in the HPA and as WHMIS is a partnership, the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs decided to take a proactive approach by establishing a tripartite review process with the objective of developing consensus recommendations for submission to a parliamentary committee.
Over 100 national associations representing suppliers, employers and workers were notified of the intention to establish a tripartite review. Industry associations met and designated representatives of suppliers and employers to sit on each of the committees and established an Industry Coordinating Group for further internal consultation. Worker representation was coordinated by the Canadian Labour Congress through consultation and participation by affiliated unions. Occupational health and safety jurisdictions (Labour Canada, provincial and territorial governments) were represented on committees by participants from various OHS agencies who liaised with their colleagues during the review process.
Ministers responsible for legislation specified in the exclusions (i.e., the federal ministers of Agriculture Canada; Energy, Mines and Resources Canada; and Health and Welfare Canada), agreed to examine their respective legislative exclusions.
The Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (CCA) took responsibility for the remaining exclusions (listed in paragraphs 12(e) to (i) of the HPA). The General Exclusions Sectoral Committee (GESC) was established to reivew these five exclusions. GESC established individual tripartite working groups to discuss the exclusions and report to GESC with their recommendations. The Minister of CCA was also responsible for the overall coordination of the exclusion review process.
The information requirements generated from the review of the exclusions will influence OHS activities in the workplace. Because of the Minister's primary responsibilities for OHS at the federal level and since the Minister is responsible for federal/provincial relations with respect to OHS matters, the Minister of Labour Canada was also involved in the review.
The tripartite sectoral committees, chaired by representatives of the respective departments, were set up to examine and compare current information requirements related to occupational health and safety for excluded products with WHMIS requirements and to make recommendations on the future status of the exclusions.
January 24, 1990 - The exclusions review was launched including the creation of multi-stakeholder sector-specific ("sectoral") committees to review each exclusion. The General Exclusions Sectoral Committee and its five working groups were established to review the exclusions relating to (1) hazardous waste, (2) consumer restricted products, (3) wood or products made of wood, (4) tobacco or products made of tobacco and (5) manufactured articles.
April 10, 1991 - The "Report to Parliamentary Committee on the Exclusions to WHMIS" was tabled in the House of Commons by the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada. The matter was referred to the Standing Committee on Consumer and Corporate Affairs and Government Operations which reviewed the recommendations contained in the report of tripartite sectoral committees and heard testimony from various stakeholders.
April 27, 1992 - The Standing Committee tabled its report of recommendations in the House of Commons.
May 12, 1993 - The Government of the day responded to the report of the Standing Committee.
Report to Parlaimentary ("Standing") Committee:
The report tabled by the Minister of CCA before the House of Commons contains consensus recommendations of suppliers, employers, organized labour and federal, provincial and territorial governments. Where consensus has not been reached, the position of the stakeholders has been indicated and, in some cases, unresolved issues have been referred to specific tripartite committees for further discussion. The recommendations of each of the five sectoral committees have been excerpted from the respective reports and are presented below.
Sectoral Committee Reports / Recommendations:
The Ministers responsible for the legislation covering the excluded products were proactive and established tripartite sectoral committees to examine the exclusions in anticipation of the Standing Committee review. The consensus approach, which characterized the development of WHMIS, involving industry, labour and federal, provincial and territorial governments, has thus been reinforced through the sectoral committees which reviewed the exclusions from WHMIS. The sectoral committees achieved significant consensus and their reports were submitted to the Standing Committee on Consumer and Corporate Affairs and Government Operations.
Along with the establishment of the five tripartite sectoral committees to review the exclusions under section 12 of the HPA, a Senior Advisory Committee (SAC) was created. The SAC, chaired by Labour Canada, consisted of representatives of industry, labour and federal and provincial governments whose mandate was to monitor and promote the consensus process in the five tripartite sectoral committees. Although the SAC had no formal authority over the sectoral committees, it provided a forum at which the work of these committees could be reviewed.
Explosives Sectoral Committee:
This committee recommended the following:
- It should be mandatory for the manufacturer or importer to prepare or obtain MSDSs for all explosive and pyrotechnic substances entering a workplace.
- It should be mandatory for the supplier of any explosive or pyrotechnic substance to a workplace to supply MSDS with the first shipment to each customer. If explosives are not placed under WHMIS, regulations governing MSDS transmission and updating must be as effective as those currently in place under WHMIS.
- The MSDS should take account of the ingredient toxicity, explosive or pyrotechnic hazard, and the during-use or after-use toxicity hazard.
- The content of the MSDS should be prescribed in substantial detail by regulation.
- The precision of disclosure of ingredients in an explosive or pyrotechnic substance should be specified by regulation after a study on the requirements of health and safety of workers, the undesirability of attracting amateur explosive formulators, and the proprietary nature of some compositions.
- The already internationally recognized symbol for explosives should be retained and should not be supplemented by other symbols to indicate explosion hazard.
- Labelling should continue to meet the requirements of the Explosives Regulations and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. This should be extended to deal with before-use and after-use toxicity problems, without changing the format so much as to distract attention from the main hazards of explosion or fire.
- Labels additional to existing ones should have the recognized WHMIS border.
- Recommendations one through eight should apply to explosive or pyrotechnic articles which, in normal use, release toxic substances into a workplace.
- A decision on whether to achieve these recommendations under WHMIS legislation or by amendment to the Explosives Regulations should be made primarily on the basis of which approach can be taken more quickly. However, the wish of industry to deal with a single regulatory body should be taken into account and so should the possibility that administering regulations may need expertise and knowledge of the industry.
Food, Drug, Cosmetic, Device Sectoral Committee:
This committee recommended the following:
- Foods, packaged drugs sold by the manufacturer, cosmetics, and devices, intended for consumer use continue to be exempt from the provisions of Part II of the Hazardous Products Act.
- Food ingredients, including food additives, and foods which are physical mixtures, intended for use in the workplace, be subject to the provisions of the Controlled Products Regulations except as specified, and recognizing that certain discretionary categories of information may not be available for some ingredients.
- The special provisions relating to the disclosure of chemical identities of flavours and fragrances as described in Section 5.1 of the Controlled Products Regulations be maintained subject to specified modifications.
- Raw materials used in the manufacture of drugs, and specified drugs in dosage form, be subject to the provisions of the Controlled Products Regulations.
- Raw materials used in the manufacture of cosmetics, and unpackaged volumes of finished product be subject to the provisions of the Controlled Products Regulations.
- Medical devices intended for use in the workplace be subject to specified requirements for labelling and the provision of material safety data sheets.
The members of the Committee did not achieve consensus on the provision of hazardous materials information to the beauty industry workplace for cosmetics.
Pest Control Products Sectoral Committee:
The committee agreed that wherever the Pest Control Products Act (PCP Act) criteria exceeded WHMIS requirements, the PCP criteria would be retained and vice versa.
It was recommended that the following classification criteria be adopted:
- Caution-Flammable would change from 10°C - 27°C to 10°C - 37.8°C.
- New combustible hazard namely Caution-Combustible with flashpoint of 37.8°C - 93.3°C be introduced.
- That new Dangerously Reactive, Oxidizing, Biohazardous and Infectious, and Reactive Flammable Materials classes meeting WHMIS criteria be adopted.
- Relative to WHMIS class D-2 that WHMIS classification criteria and those judged appropriate by the designated federal authority be adopted. (See Appendix 1 in the complete report.)
- The Committee supported the initiative to streamline administrative requirements with regards to disinfectants and cleansers because of the overlap of the various federal acts.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
It was agreed that MSDSs would be provided by the immediate supplier for all products covered under the Pest Control Products Act and intended for use in a workplace.
The Committee adopted the format and contents for MSDSs as shown in Appendix 2 in the complete report.
Suppliers of pest control products have agreed to the current WHMIS standard of ingredient disclosure. The Committee unanimously endorsed the current WHMIS standard of ingredient disclosure.
It was agreed that the interpretation of provision of information on MSDs as per the Health and Welfare/Workers' Compensation Board, B.C., memo of April 3, 1990 be accepted. (See Appendix 1 in the complete report.)
It was agreed that: "Where the supplier is aware that a possible risk exists for employees re-entering an area treated with pesticides or handling treated products such information will be provided on the MSDS and the labels." e.g.:
- enclosed space ventilation information
- dislodgeable residues information
- re-entry information
For pest control products, MSDSs will have to be reissued every three years and updated every time some new information becomes available.
Claims for Exemption for Confidential Business Information to be made to Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission in accordance with requirements under Hazardous Materials Information Review Act and Regulations.
Exemptions for Confidential Business Information to be reapplied every three years.
It was agreed that the six items listed below will appear inside a WHMIS "hatched border" on the secondary panel for all pesticides other than the Domestic Class under the PCP Act, and that this information must be legible on the labels.
Hazard Statement (Risk Phrases)
First Aid Statement
Reference to MSDS
It was agreed that all symbols under PCP Act except for the Corrosive symbol will be retained for the use on the pest control product labels.
WHMIS symbols for Corrosive, Oxidizing, Biohazardous and Infectious and Dangerously Reactive Materials will be adopted. The PCP Flammable symbol will be retained for the Reactive Flammable division of WHMIS.
It was agreed that with respect to the use of stylized "T" symbol on pesticide labels, the policy endorsed by this Committee is as outlined below:
- stylized "T" symbol will not appear where skull and crossbones appear according to the PCP criteria;
- stylized "T" will appear only where WHMIS criteria are met or exceeded;
- hazard statement relating to stylized "T" symbol will be on the MSDS; and
- a risk statement will appear on the label (WHMIS section) when advised by the designated federal authority.
Agreed that for all pest control products except Domestic, all symbols and signal words will appear on the primary panel inside of the WHMIS hatched border.
For domestic products all symbols and signal words will appear on the primary panel without a WHMIS hatched border.
Information inside hatched border for all pest control products will be in both official languages.
It was recommended that for Domestic class products, label modifications would not be implemented until the Consumer Chemical and Container Regulations Committee, on consumer product labelling, recommendations are reviewed by the designated federal authorities (Agriculture Canada and Health and Welfare Canada) and the stakeholders.
Where a Domestic product manufacturer wishes to use the hatched border concept then he will have to comply with all WHMIS requirements for pesticide labelling including reference and supply of MSDs.
It was agreed that symbols must be of a colour that is not likely to conflict or create confusion with a safety mark required by Part V of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.
The Committee endorsed the concept of a National Certification Standard with a recommendation that it be targeted towards the broadest number of applicators for Commercial and Restricted products. Relevant training is to be provided to other workers, by the employer, as required. It is the responsibility of the applicator to inform the employer who will in turn provide information to other workers where the applicator is not the employer.
The Committee consensually agreed to maintain the locus of legislation within the PCP Act and Regulations.
After reviewing several options, consensus was achieved on the following positions:
- Supplier Label - The Committee agreed that supplier labels for pest control products would be enforced by the Pest Control Products Administration.
- Supplier MSDSs - Supplier MSDSs would be enforced by the provincial occupational safety and health agencies.
- Training of Applicators and Other Workers - Enforcement of training of applicators and other workers will be the responsibility of provincial authorities. Provincial refers to whichever authority(ies) is(are) responsible for legislation covering training requirements.
Committee recommended that for OSH agencies to assume responsibility for inspection of supplier MSDSs under the PCP Act and Regulations, then the memoranda of understanding (MOU) between the federal pesticide authority and OSH agencies, should be drawn. Procedures for inspection should be equivalent to those established under the Hazardous Products Act. The MOU should provide for information transfer between the federal authority and OSH agencies, where necessary (i.e., where supplier information is unobtainable) and to assist with OSH agencies/MSDS review.
At the end of the five meetings, the Committee had addressed all the issues that had been identified and the Committee unanimously agreed to all the recommendations presented in this report.
Radioactive Materials Sectoral Committee:
The Sectoral Committee on Radioactive Materials has reached consensus on the major issue of its terms of reference. It recommends that the exclusion of radioactive materials be maintained providing that certain conditions are met.
The Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) would retain administrative and compliance responsibility for the WHMIS-equivalent procedures and regulatory provisions covering prescribed substances.
The labelling requirements stipulated in the current Atomic Energy Control Regulations would be retained. The only allowable addition to these requirements could occur in the case of non-radiological hazardous components of prescribed substances (see below).
The AECB would change its regulations and regulatory process to ensure that WHMIS- equivalent procedures are implemented, and in particular, that the worker's "Right-to Know" is safeguarded and supported by readily available, easily understood information. It would ensure that Radiation Safety Data Sheets (RSDSs) are developed for use in the same manner as the WHMIS Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) to provide MSDS-type information. Provisions for training would have to be incorporated into the changes to ensure that those few situations that do not now meet the standards of WHMIS would do so in the future.
The Atomic Energy Control Regulations would be amended to ensure the participation of Joint Health and Safety Committees or worker representatives in the training process, as is already enshrined in provincial, territorial and Labour Canada health and safety legislation. The latter committees or representatives should be involved in regular reviews of training, and where possible, in the development of the training programs. The AECB would provide regulatory guidance to the licensee on developing training programs to ensure that equivalence to WHMIS was achieved.
The Hazardous Products Act would be modified to emphasize that prescribed substances, while excluded from the HPA, come under the purview of the Atomic Energy Control Act and its regulations.
Where necessary, the AECB would change its current standard licence conditions to ensure that the WHMIS-equivalent requirements were met in all cases.
The AECB would issue a regulatory document on the uniform application of the WHMIS-equivalent rules that would be developed by the Tripartite Technical Working Group (see "Outstanding Issues" below), and would reference this regulatory document in its licences.
Non-Radiological Hazardous Components of Prescribed Substances
Where a prescribed substance includes a controlled substance within the meaning of the HPA, the AECB would ensure that the non-radiological component was not excluded from the requirements of WHMIS. The current Atomic Energy Control Regulations regarding labelling would apply in these cases; the radioactive material would have to take precedence in labelling since the radioactivity will usually pose a greater hazard than the non-radiological component. The way in which the non-radiological component would be identified on the container is an outstanding item to be resolved by the Tripartite Technical Working Group.
The Atomic Energy Control Regulations would be revised to limit the scope of a "prescribed substance" to include only the radioactive component of a material, while at the same time ensuring that the particular rules relating to radioactivity took precedence, particularly for purposes of labelling. Through this redefinition, the non-radiological component would automatically become subject to the WHIMS legislation. The redefinition would be developed with the participation of the Tripartite Technical Working Group.
The AECB and the federal, provincial and territorial health and safety authorities would have parallel jurisdiction in cases such as these; this should not cause a problem as these groups of regulators have often harmoniously exercised their jurisdictions in parallel in the past.
The following are subjects that may be studied and resolved by the Tripartite Technical Working Group which has been nominated by the Sectoral Committee.
In some applications, especially in research and in medicine, the quantities of controlled substance carrier materials into which radioactivity is induced are extremely small and in very small containers, and consequently the non-radiological hazard is minimal. For such small quantities, there is a need for a small volume exemption on the non-radiological component to complement the existing percentage cut-off point below which they would be exempted from the enhanced requirements of WHIMS. The Group would determine practical levels for these thresholds.
The Group would determine the specifics on identification of various non-radiological components that would be required on labelling.
The Group would participate in developing a regulatory document for the AECB on the implementation of the WHIMS-equivalent rules to ensure uniform application, and in particular to enforce concepts such as worker participation in the evolution of training programs.
There was considerable discussion within the Committee about the amount of product-specific information to be provided on the Radiation Safety Data Sheets. The Group would determine the amount of product-specific information and the mechanism for providing it.
General Exclusions Sectoral Committee (GESC) - Hazardous Waste:
- The waste generator should apply a modified supplier label to a hazardous waste container (or transmit label information in a written statement for bulk shipments parallel to existing WHMIS requirements of CPR Section 15) for waste that is intended for disposal off-site or that is sold for recycling or recovery. The modified supplier label would disclose the following categories of information:
- the product identifier;
- the supplier identifier;
- reference to further information if obtained or prepared and a list of known controlled product ingredients in the waste that are subject to disclosure if not disclosed on the label;
- WHMIS hazard symbols representing hazards known or likely to exist based on information of which the supplier is aware or ought reasonably to be aware;
- risk phrases (based on information of which the supplier is aware or ought reasonably to be aware);
- precautionary measures to be followed during activities such as handling, use and disposal;
- first aid measures, where appropriate.
- The chemical identities or generic chemical identities of all known controlled product ingredients (which are not subject to WHMIS concentration cut-offs) should be identified on the modified supplier label or transmitted on a separate list.
- Further information should be transmitted by the waste generator (e.g., a WHMIS MSDS for the entire waste mixture, a "Waste Profile Sheet" or any other format which provides more detailed occupational safety and health(OSH) information on the waste product as a whole) if obtained or prepared.
- If a workplace by-product is a controlled product and is sent off-site to another workplace where it is neither disposed of nor is subject to a recycling or recovery process, full WHMIS supplier requirements should be applied with respect to supplier labelling and MSDS transmission.
- A statement of policy should be drafted in order to provide guidance to the waste generator in moving towards a capability to classify. This policy, which would be developed in a tripartite consensus forum (i.e., Current Issues Committee) would set the regulatory framework for directing and assisting suppliers in classifying hazardous waste mixtures by using professional judgement based on information "of which the supplier is aware or ought reasonably to be aware" (for all WHMIS hazard classes). This would be defined to include, among other things, industrial process information and knowledge of the controlled product ingredients. The policy could also include a recommendation for the waste generator to sort and segregate hazardous waste, where practicable, in order to assist with the WHMIS classification of the waste mixture.
- The waste supplier label information applied to a container of waste should be surrounded by the distinctive WHMIS hatched border.
- A statement to the effect of "Hazardous Waste" should be indicated on the label (i.e., either in the product identifier section or elsewhere) in order to differentiate between the content requirements of the modified supplier label versus that of the standard WHMIS supplier label.
- Similar requirements should be placed on hazardous waste regardless of whether it is recycled or recovered at the site of waste generation or at another workplace. (N.B. There are differences, however, as noted in Recommendation No. 9)
- The Model OSH regulations should be amended to require that a modified workplace label be applied to a waste container (or a placard posted in the vicinity of waste storage) which would display all of the information required for a modified supplier label (i.e., with the exception of the supplier identifier, the distinctive WHMIS hatched border and the bilingual format) for hazardous wastes which are stored on-site prior to disposal or recycling/recovery within the waste-generating workplace or prior to disposal or waste treatment off-site. It is also recommended that this modified workplace label display the term "Hazardous Waste" or "Waste" to distinguish this label from other WHMIS workplace labels.
- If decanting in the workplace, the secondary container should have applied to it a modified workplace label (or a placard posted in the vicinity of waste storage) which displays the same information as required on the original supplier container.
- An exemption should be provided for waste that is stored prior to disposal and intended for municipal landfill or sewage treatment.
- An exemption should be provided for scrap metal that is sold or distributed off-site for recycling or recovery operations.
- Laboratory chemical wastes, the vast majority of which are packed, stored and transported according to Environment Canada guidelines for "labpacks", should be required to have a modified supplier label applied to the container as a condition of off-site disposal, recycling or recovery.
- Biochemical waste, where classified under WHMIS Class D-3, Biohazardous and Infectious Material, should be covered by WHMIS and the matter of labelling these hazardous waste products should be brought forward for consideration by the Subcommittee, established under the Current Issues Committee, to examine a number of issues concerning biohazardous materials.
General Exclusions Sectoral Committee (GESC) - Consumer Restricted Products:
- The current exclusion for "products, materials or substances included in Part II of Schedule I and packaged as a consumer product" and intended for use in a workplace (paragraph12(f) of the HPA) should be removed from the legislation.
- There should be an exemption, in the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR), from the requirement that suppliers apply WHMIS supplier labels to the inner containers of controlled products if:
(Note: "inner container" has the meaning as in section 14 of the CPR)
- the controlled product is packaged as a consumer product and subject to the Consumer Chemical and Container Regulations (CCCR); and
- where the supplier is a manufacturer or an importer, the supplier provides a WHMIS supplier MSDS for the product to an employer upon request.
- Occupational safety and health WHMIS regulations should be amended so that an employer is required to determine whether or not a consumer product is a controlled product, and if yes, the employer is required to obtain or prepare a WHMIS supplier MSDS for the product and ensure that it is labelled in accordance with WHMIS or CCCR before it is used in the workplace.
(Note: Members agreed that such a provision should not prevent an employer from having a worker purchase and use a drain cleaner to unplug a drain before receiving the MSDS.)
Upon broader consultation within industry, employer representatives expressed their concern with the agreement of GESC that had been reached on Recommendation 3 (above) in the Consumer Restricted Products Working Group Report. Concern has been expressed about the logistics of this recommendation in the cases where the employer cannot obtain the MSDS and label from the manufacturer or importer. On further discussion, GESC members agreed on the following:
- workers should be provided WHMIS information for consumer products that are controlled products;
- it is recognized that employers do not have the ability to classify or prepare MSDSs or labels for consumer products they purchase, that are controlled products;
- suppliers should not be required to provide MSDSs and WHMIS labels to employers for products they do not intend to be used in the workplace;
- the above three issues can be accommodated if the Current Issues Committee can resolve how an employer can obtain the information when it is not available from the manufacturer or importer.
If the Current Issues Committee cannot resolve what to do in the case where an employer cannot obtain an MSDS from the manufacturer or importer, stakeholders maintain the following positions:
Industry - The current OSH exemption for "products, materials, and substances packaged as consumer products and in quantities normally used by the consuming public" should remain.
Organized Labour and OSH Regulators - The employer should be required to obtain an MSDS for any consumer product that is a controlled product before the product is used in the workplace.
- Workers in warehouses and storerooms of retail outlets should be provided with sufficient hazard information to protect themselves in the event of leaks or spills where the product is a controlled product and is not "intended for use in a workplace". Although it was agreed that these workers should have access to hazard information, a proposal that workers have access to full WHMIS MSDS and label information did not receive the consensus of the Working Group. The Group understands that a subcommittee under the Current Issues Committee will attempt to develop, with the participation of officials from Transport Canada, recommendations on how much hazard information workers in warehouses and storerooms should have access to and how this information could be made available to workers.
- The Committee responsible for undertaking the current review of regulations governing hazardous consumer chemical products should consider, wherever possible, the harmonization of the criteria which define hazardous consumer products and the symbols used to identify those hazards on labels with WHMIS and the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.
General Exclusions Sectoral Committee (GESC) - Wood or Products Made of Wood:
- The Hazardous Products Act should be amended to remove the current blanket exemption from WHMIS supplier requirements for "wood or products made of wood" that are controlled products (paragraph 12(g) of the HPA). (Recommendation 8, below, proposes replacing this blanket exemption with an exemption for "logs".)
- WHMIS occupational safety and health regulations under provincial law and the Canada Labour Code should be amended to remove the current exemption from WHMIS employer requirements for "wood or products made of wood" that are controlled products.
- Section 39 of the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR), which lists the criteria for flammable solids, should not apply to "wood or products made of wood".
- There should be an amendment to the criteria in the CPR to address the explosive hazards of wood dust and wood flour so that such materials would be subject to hazard communication. The Current Issues Committee should consider developing the appropriate criteria.
- The criteria in the CPR should be amended so that if a treated or composite wood product contains an ingredient, other than wood, that is a controlled product and the supplier determines, using information of which he is aware or ought reasonably to be aware, that it could pose a hazard to workers, the product is considered to be a controlled product.
- The CPR should be amended so that suppliers of "wood or products made of wood" that are controlled products, other than packaged wood dust and wood flour, are exempt from WHMIS supplier labelling provisions. The exemption should be subject to the same conditions as those for "bulk shipments" in section 15 of the CPR (i.e., the supplier label information must be sent, on or with the MSDS or by other means specified in that exemption, to the purchaser on or before the date on which the product is received).
- OSH WHMIS regulations should be amended to exempt employers from provisions in respect of supplier and workplace labels for those products exempted in accordance with Recommendation 6. Employers should be obliged to placard these "wood or products made of wood" that are controlled products where this is practicable but not in the case where these products are not used, stored or handled in the workplace in a way that could cause a person to be exposed to a controlled product. Full WHMIS OSH provisions should apply in the case of packaged wood dust and wood flour that is a controlled product.
- The current exemption for "wood or products made of wood" in paragraph 12(g) of the HPA should be removed but replaced by an exemption for "logs".
- In the case of "wood or products made of wood", OSH WHMIS regulations should be amended so that an employer is not required to maintain more than one version of an MSDS that differs only by the supplier identifier.
- In the case of "wood or products made of wood", section 11 of the CPR should be amended to allow a supplier to report on the MSDSs, the concentration of an ingredient in a range greater than is currently allowed if
- the concentration of the ingredient in that product varies by more than the ranges specified in section 11, and
- the supplier provides hazard data on the MSDS as if the product contained the ingredient at the maximum concentration in the range that the supplier reports on the MSDS.
- Section 4 of the CPR should be amended so that the identity of ingredients referred to in Recommendation 5 are required to be disclosed on the MSDSs of the controlled product. This amendment should not require the supplier to disclose the concentration of such ingredients.
- The Wood or Products Made of Wood Working Group supports the proposed amendment to the meaning of "normal conditions of use", in the definition of "manufactured articles", to include installation. This amendment is necessary to ensure that the above recommendations have the desired effect.
- As these recommendations will take time and resources to implement, the effective date of WHMIS provisions in respect to "wood or products made of wood" should be 18 months from the date of promulgation of amendments to the regulations.
General Exclusions Sectoral Committee (GESC) - Tobacco or Products Made of Tobacco:
It is recommended that the current exclusion for tobacco or products made of tobacco be removed, since these products would not be subject to WHMIS requirements on the basis of the scientific judgement under paragraph 33(2) of the Controlled Products Regulations, which is based on existing literature and the advice of experts, to the effect that the handling of tobacco or products made of tobacco do not pose a threat to workers' health.
General Exclusions Sectoral Committee (GESC) - Manufactured Article:
- The exclusion provided for "manufactured article" under paragraph 12(i) of the federal Hazardous Products Act (HPA) should be maintained.
- If an item does not contain a controlled product at or above the appropriate cut-off concentration when it is sold, it should not be subject to the federal aspect of WHMIS under the HPA.
- A controlled product meeting all three stated conditions in the definition of "manufactured article" should continue to be excluded under the manufactured article exclusion of HPA paragraph 12(i).
- The term "normal conditions of use" specified within the third condition under the "manufactured article" definition should be defined by a legislative amendment to HPA Subsection 11(1) to mean that where there is an item that is a controlled product and it is being considered for the manufactured article exemption, the following applies:
- if an item releases or otherwise causes exposure to a controlled product during manufacture or installation, the exemption cannot apply; and,
- if an item releases or otherwise causes exposure to a controlled product during maintenance or abuse, the exemption can apply.
- The "controlled product" referred to in the third condition of the "manufactured article" definition, should be that which when released, is already present in the manufactured article that is sold or is an oxidation product of the ingredient.
- WHMIS requirements for employer-produced controlled products should apply for non-ingredient controlled products produced when using the manufactured article and should be referred to the WHMIS Current Issues Committee.
- An item which releases or otherwise causes exposure to a controlled product (as stated in the third condition of the "manufactured article" definition) should be one which releases or otherwise causes exposure to a controlled product in a sufficient quantity to pose a hazard to workers.
- The above consensus recommendations achieved by representatives of labour, industry and government concerning the manufactured article exclusion are understood to be a complete package.
Government's Response to the Standing Committee's Recommendations:
On May 12, 1993, the federal government responded to the report of the Standing Committee on Consumer and Corporate Affairs and Government Operations on the exclusions from the WHMIS.
The Standing Committee reviewed the recommendations contained in the report of tripartite sectoral committees and heard testimony from various stakeholders. The Standing Committee subsequently tabled its report of recommendations in the House of Commons on April 27, 1992.
The Government has examined the report of the Standing Committee and is supportive of its recommendations. In some areas where consensus has not yet been achieved by the stakeholders, the Government's response is that they be given sufficient additional time to reach agreement. The text of the Government's response follows.