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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

Industry experts weigh in on new and buzzworthy EHS news, giving you advice, insights, and best practices on the latest Environmental, Health & Safety regulations – providing everything you need to know for EHS compliance management. Get researched insights into EHS topics affecting your business.

We’re committed to helping companies like yours maintain safe, efficient, environmentally-conscious operations. Use the buttons below to find EH&S blog posts that match your specific interests. And if you don’t see the type of content you need, please let us know!

WHMIS 2015 Transition to GHS Standards

Posted by Carla Samuel

The final phase transition of WHMIS 2015 is approaching, ending Phase 2 and entering Phase 3 on September 1st. After August 31, 2018 the transition to WHMIS 2015 is complete for manufacturers, importers, and distributors requiring MSDSs/SDSs and labels must be compliant to WHMIS 2015. Full implementation of WHMIS 2015 will be completed on December 1, 2018.

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Also posted in: GHS, SDS, SDS Authoring, SDS Document Management

Protect Trade Secret Ingredients in Chemical Products: HPR Amendment

Posted by Cindy Ranganathan

What is HPR (Hazardous Product Act)?

HPR is the shorthand reference for the Hazardous Products Act. As shown in the Canada Gazette Part II of February 11th, 2015, the Government of Canada published the HPR, bringing WHMIS 2015 (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) into force. WHMIS 2015 implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The new HPR replaces the older CPR, which had listed the requirements for WHMIS 1988 compliance.

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Also posted in: GHS, SDS Authoring, SDS

Reading an SDS: Key SDS Sections to Review for New Chemical Products

Posted by Francis Haley

Why It's Important to Read an SDS When Using a Material for the First Time

Occasionally, a plant manager will find themselves asking how to read an SDS in facing one or more of these scenarios:


  • Plant workers are informed of a new chemical material to be used in the production process.
  • A maintenance worker starts a new assignment with specific cleaning materials.
  • A trial material is introduced to a process to improve its efficiency.
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Also posted in: GHS, SDS Authoring

GHS Compliance: Insider Guide to GHS in North America

Posted by Alexandra McDougall

The Globally Harmonized System (known as GHS for short) has introduced profound changes to the way North America as a whole classifies and communicates hazard information in the workplace and to consumers.

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Also posted in: GHS

GHS Compliance Spotlight: Aerosols under WHMIS 2015 and OSHA 2012

Posted by Nour Ghazal

Manufacturers around the globe have noticed an uptick in the demand for aerosol products – and if you are a user of aerosol products or a manufacturer, you might find yourself surprised at how the switch in North America to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) has affected the requirements for workplace safety compliance. Our chemical safety specialists have taken a deep-dive into these regulations and this article will give you a straight-forward and condensed guide with everything you need to know.

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Also posted in: GHS, SDS Authoring, OSHA

Secondary Container Labels 101: HazCom and WHMIS

Posted by Alexandra McDougall

Compliance with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is about more than just authoring SDSs (Safety Data Sheets) and making sure your staff knows how to read them, it also includes an important component about ensuring that safety data is available throughout your facility on any secondary containers used to store a hazardous material.

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Also posted in: GHS, SDS Authoring, SDS Document Management

GHS Compliance Delayed by Health Canada

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

In late May of 2017, news began to circulate that Health Canada was moving to change the requirement dates associated with Canada’s adoption of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). This represented a shift away from the previously published transition deadlines.

The new process will center around three key dates, and will be defined by closer adherence to the requirements of both Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) and Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) rules. These standards are associated with corresponding regulations (HPR with WHMIS 2015, and CPR with WHMIS 1988).

Those industries that create and import hazardous chemicals will now have until June 1 2018 to comply with HPR rules, while distributors will have until September 1 2018 to reach compliance. The completion of the GHS transition remains scheduled for December 2018.

This represents a considerable change of course for the regulatory authorities.

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Also posted in: GHS

June’s WHMIS / GHS Deadline: Essential Reading for Canadian and US Producers

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Update: May 2017: Since the publication of this article, Health Canada have issued an annoucement indicating changes to WHMIS 2015 compliance requirements and deadlines. These changes in requirements center around the timely implementation of Controlled Production Regulations (CPR) and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR), as well as Confidential Business Information (CBI) disclosure. The annoucement can be read here

Manufacturers, producers and facilities based in Canada will by this stage likely be keenly aware of WHMIS 2015 regulations. This is a comprehensive new set of regulations, developed to UN-approved Globally Harmonized System (GHS) standards, which cover the onsite documentation and labeling of hazardous goods in Canada. These new rules will also have a subtle impact on any US business involved in the cross border trade of these goods.

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Also posted in: Sustainability, ERA Ingenuity at Work, GHS

Swinging into Action - How a Properly Authored SDS Delivers

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Looking beyond the importance of regulations and training exercises, the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is the document that you turn to when things go wrong at your facility.

The purpose of the document is to provide a summary of information related to the hazards posed by a product, as well as advice on safety precautions. This means that it is the SDS that you reach for when a there is a spill or leak incident, an unintended chemical reaction, or if a fire breaks out. These situations can range across every possibility, but if there’s one document you can turn to – it should be your SDS.

This article will attempt to outline how a properly authored SDS can go a long way to meeting your most pressing needs in an emergency scenario.  

No facility or company wants to go down the path of a major incident, and to confront the human and financial cost that such an incident can cause.  A comprehensively authored SDS will allow this to sort of situation to be nipped in the bud. 

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

SDS Automation - How to Meet Your Deadlines

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Automation is a buzzword that’s been in constant use across numerous industries in recent years, especially in manufacturing. It’s being discussed as a technology that will continue to revolutionize our economies by introducing reliable computer-based solutions for repetitive tasks.

In the context of Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Authoring for hazardous goods and chemicals, automation refers to software rapidly carrying out the completion of logic processes required for creating SDSs. This largely consists of cutting out any aspect of redundancy and logically resolving decisions within the authoring process. Correctly implemented, this will deliver an error-free document more rapidly and efficiently.

Automation’s application to SDS Authoring in the form of smarter software is already a proven benefit to many companies. It saves time, money, and is more accurate due to the elimination of human errors.

This article will outline the business benefits that automating SDS authoring can deliver at your business. You might be surprised at the number of areas where positive changes can be observed.

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS