August 8, 2019

New Guidance Compares U.S., Canadian HazCom Requirements

New guidance jointly developed by OSHA and Health Canada, the Canadian federal department responsible for national public health, compares the U.S. and Canada's regulatory processes and labeling requirements for hazardous chemicals in the workplace. The new documents compare the requirements of Canadian regulations—including the Hazardous Products Regulations, Hazardous Products Act, and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, or WHMIS—with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, or HazCom 2012. WHMIS 2015 and HazCom 2012 both incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. GHS attempts to standardize hazard communication worldwide by requiring a consistent system for classifying chemical hazards, a consistent format for safety data sheets, and standardized labels that use pictograms to depict hazards, specific wording to inform workers of hazards, and information on how to protect against those hazards.

The joint guidance documents cover labeling requirements for hazardous products (PDF), regulatory processes for hazardous products in the workplace (PDF), and pictogram requirements for hazards not otherwise classified, physical hazards not otherwise classified, and health hazards not otherwise classified (PDF).

More information about hazard communication is available from OSHA’s website.