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UPDATE: WHMIS 2015 Deadlines

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Canada has announced delays in WHMIS 2015 compliance deadlines.


On February 11, 2015, the Government of Canada modified the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 1988 to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling for Chemicals (GHS) – now referred to as WHMIS 2015.


WHMIS 2015 has been introduced through a three-stage transition period that is synchronized nationally across federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions.  However, Orders in Council have recently been approved to defer two of the transition deadline dates. The updated deadlines are:


Manufacturers and importers now have until June 1, 2018 to comply with the WHMIS 2015.  The deadline of June 1, 2017 has been delayed by one year to June 1, 2018.
The second deadline of June 1, 2018 has been delayed by three months to September 1, 2018.


The currently imposed deadline for employers by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) agencies responsible for occupational safety and health (OSH) in the workplace remains unchanged at December 1, 2018.


During the transition period, which is anytime between now and these newly imposed deadlines, manufacturers and importers can use either WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015, but must be fully compliant with either one or the other.


Transition phases for WHMIS 2015 are as follows:

Click here to read the full bulletin 


Understanding New Hazard Classifications in WHMIS 2015: Part 2

In this installment of our WHMIS 2015 info series, we will continue our introduction to new hazard classifications. In part one of this article, we discussed biohazardous infectious materials and combustible dust. In part two, we will introduce you to asphyxiants and pyrophoric gases.


Simple asphyxiants and pyrophoric gases are new hazard classifications included in the Hazardous Product Act and Hazardous Product Regulations, but these are not hazard classes under GHS; these classifications are unique to WHMIS 2015 and OSHA HCS 2012.
What are they?

Simple Asphyxiants, as they are classified in WHMIS 2015, include any substance – gas or vapour – which has the potential to displace oxygen and rapidly cause suffocation. Typically, this occurs only when the material is in high concentration, as they usually have no physiological effects in low concentration. Simple asphyxiants often have few or no warning properties.  

Examples of simple asphyxiants include:

Carbon dioxide


Simple asphyxiants fall under the “physical hazard” class of WHMIS 2015 and are category 1 – the most severe level of hazard.

Warnings and Symbols

Simple asphyxiants are not identified by any WHMIS or GHS pictogram, but are identified with the signal word “warning” and the hazard statement “May displace oxygen and cause rapid suffocation.”
Pyrophoric Gases
What are they?

Pyrophoric gases, as defined by WHMIS 2015, include any substance – gas or vapor – which may catch fire spontaneously if exposed to air at a temperature of 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) or below. Pyrophoric gases must be stored in compressed gas cylinders. GHS Revision 6 has now adopted Pyrophoric Gas as an official GHS classification.

Examples of common pyrophoric gases include:

Carbon Monoxide


Pyrophoric gases are classified as physical hazards under WHMIS 2015 and are category 1 – the most severe hazard category.

Warnings and Symbols

Pyrophoric gases are identified on labels using the “flame” pictogram.

Pyrophoric gases are further identified using the signal word “danger” and the hazard statement “Catches fire spontaneously if exposed to air.”

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