The Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and Labels

The Hazardous Products Act (HPA) requires suppliers of hazardous products intended for use, handling or storage in a workplace in Canada to communicate the hazards associated with their products via labels and safety data sheets (SDSs), as a condition of sale or importation.

This tool provides an overview of common label non-compliances and includes tips and best practices to help suppliers prepare hazardous product labels. This tool does not provide a comprehensive review of the HPA and the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR), nor does it replace the Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act and the Hazardous Products Regulations (the Technical Guidance). This tool should be read in conjunction with the HPA and HPR, and the Technical Guidance. In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between this tool and the HPA or the HPR, the official versions of the HPA or HPR take precedence. Any reference to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) relates to what is referenced in the version of the HPR currently in force.

Hazardous product labels communicate key information on how to safely use, handle and store a hazardous product. Labels provide information to the user about that product’s major hazards and outline the basic precautions or safety steps that the user should take to avoid injuries, illnesses, and incidents.

Suppliers are responsible for ensuring that hazardous products that they sell or import are labelled in accordance with the HPR. Labels must be affixed to, printed or written on, or attached to the hazardous product or the container and remain legible under normal conditions of transport and use. A supplier is prohibited from selling or importing a hazardous product intended for use, handling or storage if the label is not affixed to, printed on, or attached to the hazardous product or the container. For instance, a supplier cannot provide a separate label along with shipping papers instead of labelling the hazardous product or its container.

For an overview of common safety data sheet non-compliances, tips and best practices, refer to the SDS Compliance Tool.

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Date page last modified:
2023-12-18