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Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets

On August 29, 2014, Prime Minister Harper and U.S. President Obama released the Canada-U.S. RCC Joint Forward Plan, which builds on the RCC Joint Action Plan launched in December 2011. Consistent with the overall objectives of the RCC and as part of the Canada-U.S. RCC Joint Forward Plan, Canada and the U.S. will continue to collaborate and promote ongoing alignment of hazard classification and communication requirements for workplace chemicals, without reducing the level of safety or protection to workers. Health Canada and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have developed a Regulatory Partnership Statement (RPS) outlining the scope of regulatory cooperation, and a work plan describing collaboration activities. For further information and the latest updates on the RCC, please refer to Government of Canada's RCC website.

Health Canada intends to continue engaging Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) partners and stakeholders on future updates to the GHS through existing mechanisms such as the Intergovernmental WHMIS Coordinating Committee (IWCC) and the WHMIS Current Issues Committee (CIC).

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is an internationally consistent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information through labels and safety data sheets and has been adopted by Canada.

The key objectives of the GHS are:

  • To increase worker protections through the adoption of an improved, globally recognized standard for communicating the hazards associated with workplace hazardous chemicals.
  • To facilitate trade through common labelling and other hazard communication requirements; and
  • To lower costs for businesses and consumers by reducing the need for retesting and reclassifying workplace hazardous chemicals from, or for, different markets.

Safety Data Sheets provide more detailed hazard information about the product than the label. They are an important resource for workplaces and workers to help you learn more about the product(s) used. They tell users what the hazards of the product are, how to use the product safely, what to expect if the recommendations are not followed, how to recognize symptoms of exposure and what to do if emergencies occur.

Safety Data Sheets are required to be accurate at the time of sale. A Safety Date Sheet will be required to be updated when the supplier becomes aware of any significant new data. If there is new information that changes how the hazardous product is classified, or when there are changes to the way you will handle or store or protect yourself from the hazards of the product. Safety Data Sheets will be required to be updated within 90 days of the supplier being aware of the new information. If you purchase a product within this 90 day time period, the supplier must inform you of the significant new data and the date on which it became available in writing.

The requirement to update a material safety data sheet every three years, as was the case under WHMIS 1988, no longer applies. For WHMIS 2015, the Safety Data Sheet must be accurate at the time of every sale or importation of the hazardous product. Suppliers have an ongoing responsibility to make sure Safety Data Sheets and labels are accurate and compliant.

MSD Sheets can be found on the respective Product Page of this website.

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