Federal - Labour Program
The Employment and Social Development Canada Labour Program is responsible for overseeing federal labour responsibilities, including facilitating compliance with labour laws, occupational health and safety, and labour standards, as well as assisting trade unions and employers in the negotiation of collective agreements and their renewal in federally regulated workplaces.
The Labour Program administers, in partnership with Transport Canada and the National Energy Board, the WHMIS employer requirements for federally-regulated workplaces. Transport Canada is responsible for on-board employees in the aviation, marine and rail sectors under federal jurisdiction, the National Energy Board is responsible for employees in the oil and gas sector under federal jurisdiction and the Labour Program is responsible for all others.
Current WHMIS Requirements
The WHMIS employer requirements have been incorporated in the Canada Labour Code, Part II and the regulations dealing with hazardous substances made pursuant to the Code. These regulations are:
Part X of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
Part V of the Aviation Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
Part VII of the On Board Trains Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
Part VIII of Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
New WHMIS Requirements
On June 19, 2014, the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act No. 1 (Bill C-31), which contained amendments to the Hazardous Products Act and consequential amendments to Part II of the Canada Labour Code (Code), received Royal Assent.
The Code and its regulations contain rules regarding hazardous substances in the workplace. The regulations are being amended to reflect the changes in the legislation. There will be a delay between making amendments in the Code and the regulations. Transitional provisions in Bill C-31 allow for federally-regulated employers to continue applying the old regulations for products that are already in the workplace during the period between when the code is changed and when the amendments to the regulations are made.
Proposed regulations were pre-published on July 11, 2015 with a 30 day period for comments. The Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code would modify the WHMIS provisions existing in:
Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
Aviation Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
On Board Trains Occupational Safety and Health Regulations
Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
Oil and Gas Occupational Safety and Health Regulations