Government of Canada increases protection for workers handling hazardous materials

GATINEAU, QC, June 30, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada is pleased to announce the new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations under the Canada Labour Code, to be published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. The new regulations will better protect federally regulated workers who use, handle and store hazardous products in the workplace.

These changes are part of the Government's implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). It aligns Canada's system, in coordination with the provinces and territories, with that of the United States and other key trade partners such as the European Union, Australia, China, Japan and South Korea, who have either adopted, or are currently in the process of adopting the GHS. The coordinated implementation of the GHS for workplace hazardous chemicals will facilitate trade between Canada and its trading partners, reduce the compliance cost associated with trans-border shipments of products, and enhance the competitiveness of Canadian suppliers of workplace chemicals.

Applying an international standard to the classification and labelling of workplace chemicals will also strengthen the level of protection already in place for workers in Canada and will improve their overall health and safety. Hazard information will become consistent between a majority of international suppliers and federally regulated workplaces, which will provide clear information on how to safely use, handle and store hazardous materials in the workplace.


"Every employee has the right to a safe workplace. These new amendments will better protect workers from hazardous products and improve their overall safety. At the same time, these regulations provide improved, harmonized and consistent hazard information that will help businesses reduce their costs and make compliance easier in Canada and abroad."
– The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Quick Facts

  • The GHS covers all hazardous chemical substances and mixtures intended for use, storage or handling in a workplace, and communicates hazard information through labels and safety data sheets.
  • These amendments are in the five OHS regulations under Part II of the Canada Labour Code: the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations; the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations; the Aviation Occupational Health and Safety Regulations; the On Board Trains Occupational Health and Safety Regulations; and the Oil and Gas Occupational Safety and Health Regulations.
  • The Government of Canada is coordinating its work on GHS with that of the provinces and territories which are also making changes to their own legislation and regulations. This coordinated approach to transition will ensure national consistency and will be communicated clearly to partners and stakeholders across Canada.

Associated Links
Labour Program
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety–GHS
Health Canada–GHS
Hazardous Products Act
Canada Gazette Part II: Official Regulations

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: John O'Leary, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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