Federally Regulated Workplaces in Canada and WHMIS 2015 Compliance

April 12, 2019

Parliament Buildings in Ottawa

Federally Regulated Workplaces in Canada and WHMIS 2015 Compliance

If you live in Canada and work in one of the following businesses and industries below, you likely work in a federally regulated sector:

  • Banks
  • Marine shipping, ferry and port services
  • Air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • telephone, telegraph and cable systems
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills
  • uranium mining and processing
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource
  • many First Nation activities
  • most federal Crown corporations
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act

Employer WHMIS 2015 requirements under federal occupational safety and health laws and regulations include ensuring that hazardous products in the workplace are properly labelled, SDSs are made available to workers, and workers receive education and training to ensure the safe storage, handling, disposal and use of hazardous products in the workplace.

Only Federally regulated workplaces in Canada have specific regulatory language that requires employers to retain a Safety Data Sheet in both English and French. 

10.34 (1) Every employer shall keep readily available for examination by employees and by any policy committee, work place committee or health and safety representative in any work place in which an employee is likely to handle or be exposed to a hazardous product a copy, in English and in French, of

(a) in the case of an employer referred to in subsection 10.33(1) or (2), the work place safety data sheet; and

(b) in any other case, the supplier safety data sheet.

Chemscape contacts chemical suppliers daily on behalf on our customers to obtain SDSs and some suppliers especially outside of Canada are still unaware of the need to provide an SDS in French as well as in English.

Under WHMIS 2015, federal workplace jurisdictions have continued to require that, if possible, employers ensure that SDSs for hazardous products in the workplace are not more than three years old. That means your SDS inventory needs to have SDSs that are prepared and dated less than three years before the day on which the hazardous product is received at the workplace. If the SDS you have on file for the product is three years old or more, you must as the employer, obtain from the supplier a current supplier safety data sheet. If the employer cannot obtain a current supplier safety data sheet, the employer shall update the hazard information on the most recent supplier safety data sheet that the employer has received, on the basis of the ingredients disclosed on that supplier safety data sheet and on the basis of any significant new data of which the employer is aware.

For more information on WHMIS 2015 and provincial jurisdictions across Canada visit our resource page on the Chemscape website.