On June 3, the Act to enhance the communication of hazard-related information concerning products present in the workplace and to amend the Act respecting occupational health and safety came into force. This Act fosters communication of information on hazardous products present in the workplace.

The Act’s three main parts are:

  • It amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act its regulations by substituting the concept of “controlled product” by that of “hazardous product” and sets out the terms governing the identification of hazardous products, as well as the requirements regarding the training and information that employers must give workers with respect to such products;
  • It introduces rules governing labelling, display of safety data for hazardous products, exemption from disclosure of such information, and the focus for seeking exemption;
  • It enacts provisions of consequence but provides transitional provisions, some of which allow employers, until December 1, 2018, to have in their possession, in a workplace, what would otherwise be considered hazardous products provided labelling complies with the former regulatory framework.

Employers are well advised to re-examine the way they use, transport and store hazardous products. They will also have to give employees requisite training.