Section 13 of the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) places a legal requirement on the Canadian supplier of a WHMIS controlled product "intended for use in a work place in Canada" to apply a label disclosing prescribed information as a condition of sale. Section 14 of the HPA places a legal requirement on the Canadian importer of a controlled product to apply a label as a condition of importation. Section 23 of the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) sets out the requirements for an imported controlled product that is to be labelled or repackaged in Canada.
A product, material or substance is a controlled product if it falls within any of the hazard criteria specified in Part IV of the CPR. A controlled product may be a "pure" substance, a tested mixture or an untested mixture. Section 33 of the CPR sets out the procedures for a supplier to establish whether or not a substance is a controlled product and, with the exception of the hazard symbols (specified by paragraph 19(1)(d) of the CPR), does not necessarily apply to the determination of the other information that must be disclosed on the label.
Although the classification criteria specified in Part IV of the CPR may provide a useful guideline for certain label information, subject to certain exemptions and other allowances, label information is prescribed in section 19 of the CPR.
The term "label" is defined in section 11 of the HPA and "includes any mark, sign, device, stamp, seal, sticker, ticket, tag or wrapper".
For information on workplace labels and other employer obligations of WHMIS, please refer to the "Employer Requirements" page.
Links are provided on the "Publications" page.
The categories of products which are not subject to the supplier MSDS and label requirements of the HPA are specified in section 12 of the HPA. Certain special provisions ("exemptions") for labels for products which are subject to the HPA are specified in the CPR as follows:
|special provision||as it relates to ....||Section of CPR|
|bulk shipments||definition of; manner of transmitting label information||2(2); 15 and 18|
|importation||exemption from labelling||23|
labelling of outer versus inner containers / Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
|laboratory samples||definition of; ingredient disclosure||2(1); 16|
|laboratory supply house||hazard symbols and label border||17 and 20(2)|
|small quantity (100 ml)||risk statements, precautionary statements and first aid measures||19(1)(e)|
|supplier identifier||identifier to be disclosed||19(4) and (5)|
|symbols||disclosure of the "skull and cross-bones" versus the toxic "T" symbol||19(5)|
|trade secret||product and supplier identifier||19(2)|
Within WHMIS hatched border - As specified in subsection 24(3) of the CPR, labels must be in both English and French. It is acceptable to have both English and French information within one WHMIS border or to have the English and French information within two separate WHMIS borders. However, if the second option is used, hazard symbols must be depicted on both the English and the French labels. Neither the HPA nor CPR preclude the use of other languages within the border.
Outside of WHMIS hatched border - The language(s) of non-prescribed information is outside of the scope of the HPA.
The following is an example of an acceptable format for a WHMIS supplier label:
NOTE: To save the high resolution label border image file, hold the Shift key down while clicking on the link. A "Save As" pop-up window will appear, enabling the user to specify the location of the file; 400kb, dimenaions: 4.25x3.25in, 600dpi).
Neither the HPA nor the CPR impose a legal requirement to test materials to for the purposes of label disclosure. 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.
Neither the HPA nor CPR require ingredient disclosure on the supplier label of a controlled product. Paragraph 13(a) of the HPA sets out what ingredients are subject to disclosure on the MSDS and section 4 of the CPR specifies the concentration above which those ingredients must be disclosed.
|Element||as it relates to ...||Section of CPR|
|design||border and placement of label on container||20|
|first aid meaures||disclosure of||19(1)(e)(iii)|
|information disclosure||containers > 100 ml in volume||19(1)(a) to (e)|
|ingredient disclosure||disclosure on label||not required|
|language||use of English and French||24(3)|
|precautionary measures||disclosure of||19(1)(e)(ii)|
|product identifier||definition of; identifier disclosed on MSDS||2(1); 28|
|risk phrases||definition of; disclosure of||2(1); 19(1)(e)(i)|
|symbols||colour; reproduction of||22; 28 and Schedule II|
|trade secret||substitute information||26 and 27|
Where the container of a controlled product has a capacity of more than 100 millilitres, subparagraph 19(1)(e)(i) of the CPR requires the disclosure of "risk phrases that are appropriate to the controlled product..." and 19(1)(e)(ii) the disclosure of "precautaionary measures to be followed when handling, using or being exposed to the controlled product". The risk phrases and safety phrases used in the countries of the European Union may provide some guidance in meeting these requirements.
A supplier who transports WHMIS controlled products may also be subject to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and its regulations.
If a product does not have any inner containers (e.g., a drum of solvent), then a WHMIS supplier label must be applied to the container in addition to a TDG label. In such cases, the TDG label must not appear within the WHMIS supplier label border.
Please refer to the section of the Reference Manual corresponding to the discussion of paragraph 12(f) of the Hazardous Products Act.
Please refer to the frequently asked questions ("FAQs") page.
American National Standards Institute; "Hazardous Industrial Chemicals - Precautionary Labeling", ANSI Z129.1-2000;http://web.ansi.org/
Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety and Health (CCOHS) - "WHMIS and WHMIS Labelling Requirements";http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/msds_lab.html