HPA, HPR and WHMIS Updates announced with GHS revision 7 & 8

February 9, 2023

Health Canada updates WHIMIS, HPA & HPR to align with GHS 7 & 8

In January two Health Canada issued two amendments to legislation affecting workplace health and safety (January 2024, Canada Gazette, Part II) 

The following legislation is affected by these amendments: 

  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 
  • Hazardous Products Act (HPA) 
  • Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). 

Summary of GHS Revisions: 

7 years ago, Canada adopted the 5th revision of the GHS Purple Book. In this latest revision, Health Canada has now aligned Canada’s Hazardous Products Act with the 7th and 8th revision of the GHS Purple Book.  

Implementation timeline: 

Businesses will have three years to transition to comply with the registered amendments (December 2025).

What Changes are Required to Comply with GHS 7 & 8? 

  • Manufacturers/Suppliers:  

    Manuafacturers and suppliers of chemicals will need to review the WHMIS classifications of products that fall under Canada’s Hazardous Products Act. Changes to your safety data sheets may be necessary, requiring SDS Authoring work.  
  • Employers: 

    If you offer your own WHMIS training, it needs to cover the updated classifications: Flammable Gases, Aerosols, Gases Under Pressure. 

Chemscape expects to see an increase in updated supplier/manufacturer SDSs and will be ready to make the necessary changes for our customers. 

Amendments Highlights:

 Physical Hazard Classifications  
Flammable Gases

Subdividing Category 1 (extremely flammable gases) into two Subcategories: 

Subcategory 1A – includes pyrophoric gases and chemically unstable gases 

Subcategory 1B – includes flammable non-pyrophoric gases and chemically stable gases with a lower flammability hazard than 1A 

Addition of definitions for “chemically unstable gas” and “pyrophoric gas” 

Repealing provisions in Part 3, Labelling, that would no longer apply 

Flammable Aerosols

Name change to “Aerosols” 

Addition of Category 3 for non-flammable aerosols 

Removal of “flammable aerosol” definition 

Addition/deletion of provisions in regards to labelling and classification, the most significant of which is a new provision indicating that products in the Aerosols hazard class need not be classified in any category of the Gases Under Pressure hazard class. 

Oxidizing Solids 

Addition of new test procedure 

Expansion of classification criteria

Combustible Dust  Addition of a second Hazard Statement: May form explosible mixture dust-air mixture 
Chemicals Under Pressure

New physical hazard class – “Chemicals Under Pressure” with pictogram, signal word, hazard statements and precautionary statements.  

Includes Categories 1, 2 and 3

 Health Hazard Classifications  
Acute toxicity

Amending and/or adding definitions 

Addition to and/or correction of the classification criteria


Germ Cell Mutagenicity 

Respiratory Sensitization 

Serious Eye Damage/Eye Irritation

Amending and/or adding definitions
Reproductive Toxicity Amending and/or adding definitions 
Reproductive Toxicity – Category 2 Addition to and/or correction of the classification criteria

Skin Corrosion 

Skin Irritation

Change classification criteria from reference of corrosive effects “in at least one of three animals” to “in at least one animal” 

Amending and/or adding definitions

Combustible Dusts – Category 1 

Organic Peroxides – Type G 

Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Single Exposure – Category 3

Addition to and/or correction of the classification criteria
SDS Amendments

Schedule 1, Information Elements on Safety Data Sheets: 

Section 2 - Hazard Identification 

Section 3 - Composition/Information on Ingredients. Notable is the disclosure requirement for all hazardous ingredients which are present in a mixture above its relevant cut-off limits regardless of whether that ingredient contributes to the classification of the mixture. 

Section 9 – Physical and Chemical Properties 

  • New property added: Particle Characteristics 
  • Property deleted: Evaporation Rate 
  • Properties renamed: 
    • ‘Appearance’ changed to’ Physical State’ and ‘Colour’ 
    • ‘Vapour density’ renamed to ‘Relative Vapour Density’ 
    • ‘Viscosity’ renamed ‘Kinematic Viscosity’ 
    • ‘Initial Boiling Point and Boiling Range’ renamed to ‘Boiling Point or Initial Boiling Point and Boiling Range’ 

Section 14 – Transport Information


Clarification of the following: 

  • Classification in the most severe hazard category/sub-category for which criteria are met 
  • Non-allowed use for certain animal studies 
  • Label exemptions for certain laboratory samples 

Applicable exemptions for products ‘sold to an employer who has filed’ a CBI claim 


Amendment of provisions dealing with “substances and mixtures, that when in contact with water, emit a toxic gaseous substance (Water-Activated Toxicants)” 

Concerns required supplemental hazard statements where selection is “based on the toxicity of the emitted gaseous substance” 

  Amendments to Part 4, Safety Data Sheets, to better align with Part 3, Labelling, in terms of combining hazard statements and precautionary statements as well as noting that the omission of non-applicable precautionary statements for labels also apply to safety data sheets. The Part 4 amendments also clarify that the reduced information allowed on a label due to container size also applies to safety data sheets. 
  Addition of the allowed use of narrower concentration ranges that still fall within prescribed ranges for disclosure of hazardous ingredients 
  • Requirements for when significant new data is discovered and subsequent supply of the amended safety data sheet and/or label 

The amended safety data sheet and/or label must include the changes “that result from the significant new data, rather than the new studies or data themselves” 

Please note: this table is a summary of amendments.

Chemscape Authors SDS Services to Assist your with GHS Transition 

Since 2013, Chemscape has authored SDS sheets for the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). We are well trained and experienced in the required elements and structure of SDS Authoring, including these recent amendments. Contact us today to learn more about our authoring services