WHMIS 2015 (Globally Harmonized System) is Canada's new hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are cautionary labelling of containers of WHMIS 2015 "controlled products," the provision of safety data sheets (SDSs), and worker education programs. WHMIS 2015 is implemented through coordinated federal, provincial, and territorial, legislation. Supplier labelling and SDS requirements are set out under the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and associated Controlled Products Regulations.
The Hazardous Products Act and its regulations are administered by the Government of Canada Department of Health, commonly referred to as Health Canada. Each of the thirteen provincial, territorial and federal agencies responsible for occupational safety and health have established employer WHMIS 2015 requirements within their respective jurisdiction. These requirements place an onus on employers to ensure that controlled products used, stored, handled, or disposed of in the workplace are properly labelled, SDSs are made available to workers, and workers receive education and training to ensure the safe storage, handling, and use of controlled products in the workplace. WHMIS 2015 balances workers' right-to-know with industry's right to protect confidential business information and includes a mechanism for ruling on claims for exemption from disclosure of confidential business information as well as appeals to these rulings.