Canadian Regulations and MSDS Authoring Software

Published: 05th May 2010
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By both Canadian and American law, hazard information pertaining to harmful chemicals must be transmitted on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) that must be distributed to the customer at the time of first shipment of the product. Although regulatory laws may appear universal among the two countries, there are different regulatory companies which chemicals within each country, regardless of whether they are in transit, need to comply with. MSDS authoring may become confusing at this point, as it is nearly impossible to know every countries guidelines, therefore purchasing a current MSDS authoring software is strongly recommended.
According to Canadian federal regulations, chemical manufacturers and importers are required to update material safety data sheets within three months of learning about new or significant information pertaining to the chemical's hazard potential. It is mandatory for a company to update any pertinent material safety data sheets a minimum of every three years, according to Canada's WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems) standards. The WHMIS supplier MSDS and label requirements are more prescriptive than those set out under the U.S. OSHA HCS. If there is no new information on a particular controlled product within three years, the product information and MSDS must be checked, signed and dated in an effort to comply with all regulations.
Within Canada, all information, including hazard symbols, which must be disclosed on a WHMIS supplier label must be translated in both English and French and must be enclosed within a "hatched" border. For companies who are not aware of this process a MSDS authoring software will provide details.
Many companies attempt to avoid proper MSDS authoring by simply providing the information on the internet, however this practice is not appropriate in every situation. Making a MSDS available on the internet without ensuring that the purchaser is able to access this information does not comply with federal or global regulations. According to WHMIS, using the internet to transmit MSDS would be acceptable if the supplier is able to prove that the purchaser has downloaded the complete and correct MSDS, the MSDS sheet was obtained at the time of the sale of the controlled product or chemical, and the downloaded material safety data sheet file is readable. For companies interested in using the internet for MSDS authoring, MSDS authoring software will make this process quick and easy, saving the company potential problems. In an effort to satisfy federal regulations, written confirmation may be provided to the supplier from the purchaser specifying that the above conditions have been met.
When new information becomes available for a chemical, controlled product, an ingredient in that product, the supplier must revise the MSDS. All revisions must be made before selling the product; however it is not mandatory for a supplier to send a revised MSDS to a previous customer in the absence of a subsequent sale to that customer.

After the MSDS authoring has been finalized, chemical manufacturers and importers must obtain a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. Employers must also have a material safety data sheet in the workplace for each hazardous chemical which they use.

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Canadian federal regulations pertaining to MSDS authoring are different than the U.S.A. regulations. For more information on global regulations or if you are looking for MSDS authoring software, contact MSDS Compliance.

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