We’ve all known about the changes to WHMIS and the 3 year transition phases which will all be fully transitioned by December 2018. While it seemed like an eternity until the entire process would be completed, we are now in the final year.

We still get a lot of questions about the transition phases so I found these easy to understand explanations from the Government of Canada website.

You can also check out the WHMIS 2015 - Education and Training FAQ’s for more information and training requirements, who should be trained, employer duties and more.

Explanation of WHMIS 2015 Transition Phases

WHMIS 2015 transition timelines for compliance have recently been updated in the information below to reflect the extensions that were granted on May 19 2017.

The following explanation refers to the transition provisions for WHMIS 2015 which stem from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and its associated regulations, the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).

For more information related to transition to employer requirements of WHMIS 2015 in specific jurisdictions, please direct inquiries to the federal, provincial, territorial (FPT) occupational health and safety (OSH) regulatory agencies, found in WHMIS Contacts.

Transition Phase 1 (coming-into-force to May 31, 2018)

The transition begins with the publication in Canada Gazette, Part II, of the final HPR, which set out the requirements of the WHMIS 2015 for suppliers.

During this time, either the old requirements under the CPR and old HPA (WHMIS 1988) or the new requirements under the HPR and new HPA (WHMIS 2015) can be followed to achieve compliance. Suppliers must use a label and (M)SDS for each hazardous product that either fully comply with the requirements of WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015, but not a combination of the two.

Transition Phase 2 (June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018)

This phase is the initiation of the phasing out of compliance with the old HPA and CPR, starting with manufacturers and importers. During this phase, manufacturers and importers are required to only sell or import hazardous products with labels and SDSs that are compliant with WHMIS 2015. The transition to WHMIS 2015 for manufacturers and importers is now complete.

Distributors can continue to sell, and suppliers importing for their own use can continue to import, hazardous products with labels and (M)SDSs that are compliant with WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015.

Transition Phase 3 (September 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018)

During this phase, manufacturers, importers and distributors are required to sell or import only those hazardous products that are compliant with WHMIS 2015. At this point, transition to WHMIS 2015 is complete for all suppliers.

Full Implementation of WHMIS 2015 (December 1, 2018)

By December 1, 2018, all suppliers and employers would be required to be in compliance with the new HPA and HPR.

Please direct inquiries related to employer requirements in specific jurisdictions to the FPT OSH regulators, found in WHMIS Contacts.