Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) have announced that they will "continue their
partnership" to "align United States and Canadian
regulatory approaches regarding labelling and classification
requirements for workplace chemicals through the Regulatory
In 2013, Health Canada and OSHA signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to promote ongoing collaboration on implementing the
Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) in
both countries. Countries around the world are adopting GHS, which
provides a consistent international system for chemical
classification and labelling.
OSHA and Health Canada say that they intend to reduce
inconsistencies among hazard communication regulations and to
provide concise information to protect workers exposed to hazardous
chemicals. The two countries intend to implement a system allowing
the use of one label and one safety data sheet that would be
compliant in both countries.
In February 2015, the Government of Canada published in the
Canada Gazette, Part II the Hazardous Products
Regulations (HPR) which modified the Workplace Hazardous
Materials Information System (WHMIS) 1988 to incorporate GHS.
While those amendments came into force February 11, 2015, there
will be a transition period during which suppliers and employers
can comply with either the old WHMIS system (WHMIS 1988) or the new
WHMIS system (WHMIS 2015) (the transition period rules and periods
differ for employers and suppliers).
For further information on the transition, in Canada, to WHMIS
2015, click here.
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On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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