Introducing: A Focus on WHMIS 2015

How Canada’s changing regulations for classifying & reporting chemical hazards will change your SDSs and labels (more than you may think!)


At Hazox, we are dedicated to compliance with chemical safety regulations around the world.  As part of our continued efforts to keep you up-to-date with the latest information, we are pleased to welcome you to A Focus on WHMIS 2015, our series dedicated to Canada’s formal adoption of GHS.



*If you have a specific question or topic that you would like us to cover in this series, please send your request to


2015 brought big changes to Canada’s chemical safety legislation, as the country updates WHMIS regulations to harmonize with the Globally Harmonized System of classifying and labeling chemical hazards developed by the United Nations.


Although more than 65 countries have adopted or are currently transitioning to GHS, even the most GHS-savvy organizations will face a learning curve to comply with WHMIS 2015.  A number of requirements unique to Canada will require a new approach to the way hazards are classified and reported on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).

This series will highlight the ways which Canada has customized their adoption of GHS guidelines under WHMIS, and how this affects SDSs and labels.  Additionally, we will contrast key requirements of WHMIS 2015 with the equivalent U.S. regulations set forth by OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) 29 CFR 1910.1200.  If you have grown accustomed to sending U.S.-formatted SDSs to Canada, you may be surprised to learn how different the future will be!

What to Expect From This Series:

This series of articles about WHMIS 2015’s major changes will be posted regularly over the next several weeks, one topic at a time.  The topics will include:

  1. WHMIS 101: A Primer on the Evolution of Canada’s Chemical Safety Legislation
  2. WHMIS 2015 SDS & Label Requirements

    »» Series Extra: WHMIS Pictograms & Symbols (Comparing the changes from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015) ««

  3. Understanding new hazard classifications of WHMIS 2015:
    • Biohazardous materials: What are they?  Why has Canada included them in WHMIS?
    • Combustible dust: Ways of evaluating combustible dust hazards, and how it differs from the U.S. classification approach.
  4.  A look at “Hazards Not Otherwise Classified”: What does it mean? What are they?  And how do they apply to both physical and health hazards.
  5. Compliance Comparison (Canada vs. U.S.): How different are SDS and label requirements really?
  6. Understanding new hazard classifications of WHMIS 2015  (Part 2)
    •  Asphyxiants
    • Pyrophoric gases
  7. Other topics TBD: based on feedback we receive or requests you submit to our team.