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Workplace Safety and Health enforces The Workplace Safety and Health Act and its associated regulations in order to protect the safety and health of workers in Manitoba. Workplace Safety and Health’s inspection and investigation activity focuses on improving legislative compliance in order to eliminate workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses.
On February 11, 2015 Health Canada announced that the revised Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the new Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) are now law in Canada. The amendments establish new requirements for product classification, labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) under Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS). The HPA and HPR regulate suppliers (importers, manufacturers, distributors) while Manitoba regulates the requirements of WHMIS in workplaces.
The transition to the new requirements will be implemented in phases allowing suppliers and distributors time to deplete their stock of existing labels and providing employers and workers time to learn about the new WHMIS requirements and associated regulations.
Since Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Regulation has not yet been amended to reflect WHMIS changes, temporary measures have been developed to guide workplaces during the transition and until provincial regulations are updated. The focus will be on ensuring a system is in place and that workers are trained to identify and safely handle hazardous substances in their workplace.
For more information for suppliers, distributors, employers and workers to help with the transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, see Workplace Safety and Health’s guidance for employers during transition to WHMIS 2015 page, and visit www.WHMIS.org and www.safemanitoba.com. In addition, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers a free online course on WHMIS (After GHS) for Workers as well as other eCourses on WHMIS.