WHMIS

BC Legislation

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) - Système d'information sur les matières dangereuses utilisées au travail (SIMDUT)

This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose. This will be covered in greater detail in your online WHMIS training course.
The following is © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Copyright Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia
Richmond, B.C., Canada. All rights reserved.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation

Chemical Agents and Biological Agents - Definitions, Designation as Hazardous Substances, and General Information Requirement

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Anchor5.3 Application
(1) Sections 5.3 to 5.19 (the WHMIS Requirements) apply to employers and workers with respect to controlled products used, stored or handled at a workplace, except as provided in subsections (2) to (4).
(2) The provisions concerning a supplier label and MSDS do not apply if the controlled product is
(a) an explosive within the meaning of the Explosives Act (Canada),
(b) a cosmetic, device, drug or food within the meaning of the Food and Drugs Act (Canada),
(c) a control product within the meaning of the Pest Control Products Act (Canada),
(d) a prescribed substance within the meaning of the Atomic Energy Control Act (Canada) or any successor legislation, or
(e) a product, material or substance packaged as a consumer product and in quantities normally used by the consuming public.
(3) The provisions do not apply if the controlled product is
(a) wood or a product made of wood,
(b) tobacco or a product made of tobacco,
(c) a manufactured article, or
(d) being transported or handled pursuant to the requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (Canada) or the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act.
(4) The provisions do not apply to a hazardous waste, except that the employer must ensure the safe storage and handling of a hazardous waste generated at the workplace through the combination of worker education and the information required by this Regulation.
Note: For products partially or completely exempted from WHMIS by subsections (2) to (4), the general information requirements of section 5.2 must be met. Also, information requirements are specified elsewhere for particular groups of substances, for example, hazardous wastes in sections 5.76 to 5.81; pesticides inPart 6 (Substance Specific Requirements), and explosives in Part 21 (Blasting Operations).

5.4 Prohibition
(1) An employer must ensure that a controlled product is not used, stored or handled in a workplace unless all the applicable WHMIS Requirements concerning labels, identifiers, MSDSs and worker education and training are complied with, except as provided in subsection (2).
(2) An employer may store a controlled product in a workplace while actively seeking information required by subsection (1).

5.5 WHMIS program
If controlled products are used in the workplace the employer, in consultation with the joint committee or worker health and safety representative, as applicable, must establish and maintain an effective WHMIS program, as part of the overall workplace health and safety program, which
(a) addresses applicable WHMIS Requirements including education and training, and
(b) is reviewed at least annually, or more frequently if required by a change in work conditions or available hazard information.

5.6 Worker education
(1) An employer must ensure that general WHMIS education, as it pertains to the workplace, is provided to workers on the
(a) elements of the WHMIS program,
(b) major hazards of the controlled products in use in the workplace,
(c) rights and responsibilities of employers and workers, and
(d) content required on labels and MSDSs, and the significance of this information.
(2) The employer must ensure that a worker who works with or in proximity to a controlled product received from a supplier has access to all hazard information received from the supplier concerning that controlled product as well as any further hazard information of which the employer is aware or ought to be aware concerning the use, storage and handling of that product.
(3) If a controlled product is produced in a workplace, the employer must ensure that a worker who works with or in proximity to that controlled product has access to all hazard information of which the employer is aware or ought to be aware concerning that product and its use, storage and handling.

5.7 Worker training
(1) An employer must ensure that a worker who works with or in proximity to a controlled product is instructed in
(a) procedures for the safe use, storage, handling and disposal of the controlled product,
(b) the safe use, storage, handling and disposal of a controlled product contained or transferred in
(i) a pipe or a piping system including valves,
(ii) a process or reaction vessel, or
(iii) a tank car, tank truck, ore car, conveyor belt or similar conveyance,
(c) procedures to be followed if the controlled product escapes from equipment, or from another product, and
(d) procedures to be followed in case of an emergency involving a controlled product.
(2) Instruction required by subsection (1) must be specific to the workplace and cover the safe work procedures and emergency response procedures to be used in the workplace.
Note: Two checklists to assist with the implementation of sections 5.5 to 5.7 have been issued by the national WHMIS Current Issues Committee. They are provided in the WorkSafeBC publication WHMIS at Work.

The Implementation Plan Checklist addresses items under topics of: responsibilities, inventory, labelling/MSDSs, hazard evaluation, workplace controls, emergency procedures, education/training and program evaluation.

The Education and Training Checklist addresses program development, instruction and follow-up.

5.8 Supplier label
(1) An employer must ensure that the container of a controlled product or a controlled product received at a workplace is labelled with a supplier label.
(2) Subject to sections 5.8(3) and 5.18, as long as any amount of a controlled product remains in a workplace in the container in which it was received from the supplier, an employer must not remove, deface, modify or alter the supplier label.
(3) If a label applied to a controlled product or a container of a controlled product becomes illegible or is accidentally removed from the controlled product or the container, the employer must replace the label with either a supplier label or a workplace label.
(4) An employer who has received a controlled product in a multicontainer shipment where the individual containers have not been labelled by the supplier must apply to each container a label that meets the requirements of the Controlled Products Regulations (Canada).
(5) If a controlled product imported under section 23 of the Controlled Products Regulations (Canada) is received at the workplace without the supplier label, the employer must apply a label that meets the requirements of that regulation.
(6) An employer who has received a controlled product transported as a bulk shipment must
(a) apply a supplier label to the container of the controlled product or to the controlled product at the workplace, or
(b) where, pursuant to section 15 of the Controlled Products Regulations (Canada) the supplier is not required to label a controlled product transported as a bulk shipment, an employer must apply a workplace label to the container of the controlled product or to the controlled product at the workplace.

 

 

5.9 Workplace label for employer-produced products
(1) If an employer produces a controlled product at a workplace, the employer must ensure that a workplace label is applied to the controlled product or the container of the controlled product.
(2) For purposes of subsection (1), "produces" does not include the escape of a controlled product from equipment or from another product.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply when the controlled product is in a container that is intended to contain the controlled product for sale or distribution and the container is or is about to be appropriately labelled.

5.10 Workplace label for decanted products
(1) If a controlled product in a workplace is in a container other than the container in which it was received from a supplier, the employer must ensure that the container has a workplace label applied to it.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a portable container that is filled directly from a container that has a supplier label or workplace label applied to it
(a) if the controlled product
(i) is under the control of and is used exclusively by the worker who filled the portable container,
(ii) is used only during the shift in which the portable container was filled, and
(iii) the content of the container is clearly identified, or
(b) if all of the controlled product is required for immediate use.

5.11 Piping systems and vessels
If a controlled product in a workplace is contained or transferred in
(a) a pipe, or piping system including valves,
(b) a process or reaction vessel, or
(c) a tank car, tank truck, ore car, conveyor belt or similar conveyance,
the employer must ensure the safe use, storage and handling of the controlled product through worker education and the use of labels, placards, or colour coding or any other mode of identification.

5.12 Placard identifiers
If the controlled product is not in a container or is in a container in a form intended for export, the employer may fulfill the labelling requirements under sections 5.8 to 5.10 by posting a placard which
(a) discloses the information required for a workplace label, and
(b) is of a size and in locations so that the information is conspicuous and clearly legible to workers.

5.13 Laboratory label
(1) A label for a container of a controlled product that originates from a laboratory supply house and is packaged in quantities of less than 10 kg (22 lbs) for each container and that is intended for use in a laboratory must disclose
(a) a product identifier,
(b) where an MSDS is available, a statement indicating that fact, and
(c) the risk phrases, precautionary measures, and first aid measures applicable to the product.
(2) The employer must ensure that the contents of a container of a controlled product are clearly identified on the container if
(a) the container is not the container in which the controlled product was received from the supplier, and
(b) the employer intends to use the controlled product, or it is, in the normal course of business, used, exclusively in a laboratory.
(3) The employer must ensure that a controlled product undergoing analysis, tests or evaluations in a laboratory is clearly identified.

5.14 Supplier MSDS
(1) An employer who acquires a controlled product for use at a workplace must obtain a supplier MSDS for that controlled product if the supplier is required to prepare an MSDS.
(2) When a supplier MSDS obtained under subsection (1) for a controlled product is 3 years old, the employer must, if possible, obtain from the supplier an up-to-date supplier MSDS for the controlled product if any of the product remains in the workplace.
(3) If the employer is unable to obtain an MSDS as required by subsection (2), the employer must add to the existing supplier MSDS any new hazard information of which the employer is aware or ought reasonably to be aware, applicable to that controlled product on the basis of the ingredients disclosed in that document.
(4) The employer may provide at a workplace an MSDS in a format different from the format provided by the supplier or containing additional hazard information if the MSDS provided by the employer
(a) subject to section 5.18, contains at least the content of the supplier MSDS, and
(b) the supplier MSDS is available at the workplace and the MSDS provided by the employer indicates that fact.

5.15 Employer MSDS
(1) If an employer produces a controlled product in the workplace, the employer must prepare an MSDS for the product which discloses, subject to section 5.18, the information required under the Controlled Products Regulations (Canada).
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), "produces" does not include the escape of a controlled product from equipment or from another product nor does it include intermediate products undergoing reaction within a reaction or process vessel.
(3) The employer must update the MSDS referred to in subsection (1)
(a) as soon as practicable after new hazard information becomes available to the employer, and
(b) at least every 3 years.
Note: The WorkSafeBC publication Suppliers' Guide to WHMIS: Preparing Compliant Material Safety Data Sheets and Labels can assist employers and suppliers in meeting the requirements of sections 5.14 and 5.15. It provides information on how to classify products and how to prepare and review MSDSs and supplier labels.
       [Note updated October 10, 2001.]
AnchorAnchorAnchorAnchor5.16 Availability of an MSDS
(1) An employer must ensure that a copy of an MSDS required by sections 5.14 or 5.15 is made readily available
(a) at the workplace to workers who may be exposed to the controlled product, and
(b) to the joint committee or to the worker health and safety representative, as applicable.
(2) If an employer is required by subsection (1) to make an MSDS readily available, it may be made available on a computer system if the employer
(a) takes all reasonable steps to keep the system in active working order,
(b) makes the MSDS readily available on the request of a worker, and
(c) provides training in accessing computer-stored MSDS to
(i) one or more workers working at a workplace where the MSDS is available on a computer terminal, and
(ii) members of the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable.

5.17 Deletions from an MSDS
If an employer claims an exemption under section 5.18, the employer may delete the information that is the subject of the claim from the MSDS required by sections 5.14 and 5.15 for the time period in section 5.19(2), but may not delete hazard information.

5.18 Confidential business information
If, under the WHMIS Requirements, an employer must disclose on a label or an MSDS
(a) the chemical identity or concentration of an ingredient of a controlled product,
(b) the name of any toxicological study that identifies an ingredient of a controlled product,
(c) the chemical name, common name, generic name, trade name or brand name of a controlled product, or
(d) information that could be used to identify a supplier of a controlled product,
the employer may consider such information to be confidential business information and claim an exemption from the requirement to disclose that information.

5.19 Claims under the HMIR Act
(1) A claim under section 5.18 must be made to the commission established under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (Canada) and must be filed in accordance with the procedures established under that Act and the regulations made under it.
(2) Information that an employer considers to be confidential business information is exempt from disclosure from the time a claim is filed under section 5.18 until the claim is finally determined by the commission and for a period of 3 years after that if the claim is found to be valid.
(3) An employer who makes a claim under section 5.18 must abide by the decisions and orders of the commission.
(4) An appeal from a decision made by the commission under this section may be made under and in accordance with the provisions of the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (Canada) and any regulations made under that Act.

Containers and Storage
AnchorAnchor5.20 Condition of containers
The container of a hazardous substance must be designed, constructed and maintained in good condition to securely contain the substance.

5.21 Material integrity
Any material used to contain, transfer or convey a hazardous substance must be reasonably resistant to the substance and to any other substance to which it may be exposed.

5.22 Covers
If an open container of a hazardous substance could pose a hazard, the container must be kept sealed or covered when not in use.

5.23 Permitted quantities
(1) The amount of a hazardous substance in a work area must not exceed the quantity reasonably needed for work in progress, normally in one work shift.
(2) Bulk or reserve quantities must be stored in a designated area separate from the work area.

5.24 Incompatible substances
Substances which are incompatible must not be stored in a manner that would allow them to mix in the event of container leakage, breakage or other such circumstance.

5.25 Storage practices
A hazardous substance must be stored in a designated area, in a manner which ensures that it will not readily fall, become dislodged, suffer damage, or be exposed to conditions of extreme temperature.

5.26 Storage area
The designated storage area for a hazardous substance must be
(a) designed and constructed to provide for the safe containment of the contents,
(b) clearly identified by signs, placards or similar means,
(c) designed and maintained to allow the safe movement of workers, equipment and material,
(d) provided with adequate ventilation and lighting, and
(e) in a location not normally occupied by workers, and not in a location such as a lunchroom, eating area, change room, clothing storage locker or passenger compartment of a vehicle.

Flammable and Combustible Substances
AnchorAnchor5.27 Ignition sources
(1) When a flammable gas or a flammable liquid is handled, used or stored, all sources of ignition must be eliminated or adequately controlled.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) sources of ignition include open flame, spark-producing mechanical equipment, welding and cutting processes, smoking, static discharge and any electrical equipment or installation that is not approved for hazardous locations, as specified by the Electrical Safety Act.
(3) If the work involves more than one employer, the principal contractor or, if there is no principal contractor, the owner must ensure that sources of ignition resulting from the work of one employer are eliminated or adequately controlled in any work area where a flammable gas or a flammable liquid is handled, used or stored by any other employer.

5.28 Grounding or bonding
Metallic or conductive containers used to transfer flammable liquids must be electrically bonded to each other or electrically grounded while their contents are being transferred from one container to the other.

5.29 Electrostatic charge
If glass, plastic or other non-conductive container with a capacity of 23 litres (5 imp gal) or more is used to transfer a flammable liquid, the accumulation of electrostatic charge near the surface of the liquid must be eliminated or controlled by
(a) limiting the flow velocity of the liquid to less than 1 m/s (200 fpm),
(b) using a grounded lance or nozzle extending to the bottom of the container,
(c) limiting free fall,
(d) using anti-static additives, or
(e) other effective means.

5.30 Dispensing
If a flammable liquid is dispensed or transferred inside a flammable liquids storage room,
(a) the storage room must be mechanically ventilated at a rate of at least 18 m3/hr per square metre of floor area (1 cfm/sq ft), but not less than 250 m3/hr (150 cfm),
(b) exhaust air must be discharged to the outdoors, and makeup air provided,
(c) any makeup air duct passing through a fire separation must be equipped with an approved fire damper, and
(d) doors must be self-closing.

5.31 Flammable gas or vapour
If it is not practicable to maintain the airborne concentration of a flammable gas or vapour below the applicable exposure limit, for example, in a temporary situation or an emergency,
(a) only the minimum number of workers necessary for the work may be exposed,
(b) every worker exposed must be adequately trained and equipped to safely perform the required duties,
(c) the concentration of the flammable gas or vapour must not exceed 20% of the lower explosive limit (LEL), and
(d) in a life-threatening emergency only, exposure of emergency response workers is permitted above 20% of the LEL, provided that only those qualified and properly trained and equipped workers necessary to correct the unsafe condition are exposed to the hazard and every possible effort is made to control the hazard while this is being done.

5.32 Manual cleaning
A flammable liquid must not be used as a manual cleaning solvent unless
(a) a thorough review of alternative solvents by the employer indicates that a suitable non-flammable substitute is not available,
(b) appropriate written safe work procedures are implemented to effectively control flammability and health hazards,
(c) the quantity of liquid used is minimized,
(d) the worker is instructed and trained in the safe work procedures, and
(e) the work procedures have been submitted to the Board.

5.33 Permitted quantities
Except for the quantity reasonably needed for immediate use, or that is present for display or sale in public areas of a mercantile facility, the quantity of combustible and flammable liquids stored outside an approved storage cabinet, storage room or storage area in any fire compartment (2 hour fire separation) of a building must not exceed
(a) in closed containers, 600 litres (132 imp gal) of liquids having a flash point below 93.3°C (200°F) of which not more than 100 litres (22 imp gal) may be liquids having a flash point below 22.8°C (73°F) and a boiling point below 37.8°C (100°F), and
(b) in storage tanks or portable tanks, 5,000 litres (1,100 imp gal) of liquids having a flash point below 93.3°C (200°F) and a boiling point at or above 37.8°C (100°F).

5.34 Combustible materials
Except for packaging used to contain flammable or combustible liquids, combustible shelves, racks and other materials are not permitted inside a flammable or combustible liquids storage room or storage cabinet unless required as part of a fire separation.

5.35 Cabinet vent
If a flammable liquids storage cabinet is vented, the vent must be a steel pipe at least 5 cm (2 in) in diameter which is connected directly to the outdoors.

Substances Under Pressure

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AnchorAnchor5.36 Containers
(1) A tank, cylinder, bottle or other vessel containing a substance under pressure, together with any associated pressure or flow regulator and piping or conveyance system, must be
(a) protected from sparks, flames, excessive heat, physical damage, electrical contact or corrosion, and
(b) equipped with suitable pressure relief mechanisms installed so that no worker will be endangered in the event of discharge.
(c) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
(2) Hand-held aerosol spray cans are exempt from the requirements of subsection (1)(b).
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

 

5.37 Pressure testing
A compressed gas container which requires pressure testing must bear a valid and current indication that it has been pressure tested.

5.38 Handling and securing cylinders
(1) A compressed gas cylinder must not be hoisted by a sling or magnet, dropped, subjected to impact, handled by the regulator or used as a roller or work support.
(2) A compressed gas cylinder must be secured to prevent falling or rolling during storage, transportation and use, and where practicable, must be kept in the upright position.

5.39 Cylinder markings
A compressed gas cylinder must be marked to indicate its rated pressure and the type
of gas it contains.

5.40 Cylinder valves
(1) The valve on a compressed gas cylinder must be kept closed when the cylinder is empty or not in use.
(2) A worker must not stand directly in front of a regulator attached to a compressed gas cylinder when the cylinder valve is being opened.
(3) Any valve, regulator or fitting connected to a compressed gas cylinder must be a standard fitting, designed and manufactured for the type of cylinder and compressed gas for which it will be used, and must include provisions for flashback arresters where necessary.
(4) Unless a compressed gas cylinder is equipped with an integral valve guard, the valve cover must be in position when the cylinder is not connected for use.

5.41 Fittings
Only standard fittings designed for the specific compressed gas service may be used with a compressed gas system.

5.42 Regulator maintenance
Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

5.43 Empty cylinders
An empty compressed gas cylinder must be identified as being empty and must be stored separately from other compressed gas cylinders.

5.44 Acetylene cylinders
(1) A compressed gas cylinder containing acetylene must be used only in the upright position.
(2) If the cylinder has been stored or transported in a horizontal position, it must be placed in the upright position for at least 1 hour before it is used.
(3) A suitable device for closing the valve on an acetylene cylinder must be immediately available when the cylinder is connected for use.

5.45 Restriction on use of copper
A fitting or tube made of copper or any alloy containing more than 67% copper must not be used in a system carrying acetylene gas, except for copper torch tips and lengths of copper tubing 30 cm (1 ft) or less in length which are open to the atmosphere.

5.46 Restriction on use of oxygen
(1) Oxygen gas must not be used in any circumstance where it can contact a substance that oxidizes readily, such as a petroleum product, natural fibre or metal powder.
(2) Oxygen gas must not be used to
(a) operate a pneumatic tool,
(b) start an internal combustion engine,
(c) clean equipment or clothing,
(d) create pressure in a container, or
(e) ventilate a workplace.

5.47 Cleanliness
A worker must not permit oil or grease to contact an oxygen cylinder valve, regulator, or fitting.

Controlling Exposure
AnchorAnchor5.48 Exposure limits
Except as otherwise determined by the Board, the employer must ensure that no worker is exposed to a substance that exceeds the ceiling limit, short-term exposure limit, or 8-hour TWA limit prescribed by ACGIH.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]


5.51 Additive effects
If there is exposure to a mixture of 2 or more substances with established exposure limits which exhibit similar toxicological effects, the effects of such exposure must be considered additive unless it is known otherwise, and the additive exposure must not exceed 100% when calculated as follows:
AE = %EL1 + %EL2 + ... %ELn
where
(a) AE is the calculated additive exposure to the mixture,
(b) %EL1 is the measured exposure to component 1 of the mixture expressed as a percentage of its exposure limit,
(c) %EL2 is the measured exposure to component 2 of the mixture expressed as a percentage of its exposure limit, and
(d) %ELn is the measured exposure to any additional components of the mixture expressed as a percentage of their respective exposure limits.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

5.52 Skin designation
If skin absorption may contribute to the overall exposure, effective measures must be taken to limit exposure by this route.
Note: Substances which can contribute to exposure by skin absorption are identified with a "Skin" notation by the ACGIH.

5.53 Workplace monitoring
(1) If a worker is or may be exposed to a hazardous substance, the employer must ensure that
(a) a walkthrough survey is conducted to assess the potential for overexposure taking into account all routes of exposure, including inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact, and
(b) reassessment is conducted when there is a change in work conditions which may increase the exposure, such as a change in production rate, process or equipment.
(2) If the walkthrough survey required by subsection (1) reveals that a worker may be at risk of overexposure to an airborne contaminant, the employer must ensure that air sampling is conducted to assess the potential for overexposure.
(3) Additional workplace monitoring to reliably determine worker exposure is required if
(a) the assessment under subsection (2) reveals that a worker may be exposed to an air contaminant in excess of 50% of its exposure limit,
or
(b) measurement is not possible at 50% of the applicable exposure limit.
(4) Workplace exposure monitoring and assessment must be conducted using occupational hygiene methods acceptable to the Board.
(5) The results of workplace exposure monitoring and assessment, or a summary of the results, must be provided to workers at their request without undue delay.
Note: See also section 5.2 which provides general requirements to prevent overexposure by any route.

5.54 Exposure control plan
(1) An exposure control plan must be implemented when
(a) exposure monitoring under section 5.53(3) indicates that a worker is or may be exposed to an air contaminant in excess of 50% of its exposure limit,
(b) measurement is not possible at 50% of the applicable exposure limit, or
(c) otherwise required by this Regulation.
(2) The exposure control plan must incorporate the following elements:
(a) a statement of purpose and responsibilities;
(b) risk identification, assessment and control;
(c) education and training;
(d) written work procedures, when required;
(e) hygiene facilities and decontamination procedures, when required;
(f) health monitoring, when required;
(g) documentation, when required.
(3) The plan must be reviewed at least annually and updated as necessary by the employer, in consultation with the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable.

5.55 Type of controls
(1) If there is a risk to a worker from exposure to a hazardous substance by any route of exposure, the employer must eliminate the exposure, or otherwise control it below harmful levels and below the applicable exposure limit established under section 5.48 by
(a) substitution,
(b) engineering control,
(c) administrative control, or
(d) personal protective equipment.
(2) When selecting a suitable substitute, the employer must ensure that the hazards of the substitute are known, and that the risk to workers is reduced by its use.
(3) The use of personal protective equipment as the primary means to control exposure is permitted only when
(a) substitution, or engineering or administrative controls are not practicable, or
(b) additional protection is required because engineering or administrative controls are insufficient to reduce exposure below the applicable exposure limits, or
(c) the exposure results from temporary or emergency conditions only.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

5.56 Oxygen deficiency
The airborne concentration of any gas or vapour must be controlled so that a worker is not exposed to an oxygen deficient atmosphere, and there is no other hazard, such as fire or explosion.

5.57 Designated substances
(1) If a substance identified as any of the following is present in the workplace, the employer must replace it, if practicable, with a material which reduces the risk to workers:
(a) ACGIH A1 or A2, or IARC 1, 2A or 2B carcinogen;
(b) ACGIH reproductive toxin;
(c) ACGIH sensitizer;
(d) ACGIH L endnote.
(2) If it is not practicable to substitute a material which reduces the risk to workers, in accordance with subsection (1), the employer must implement an exposure control plan to maintain workers' exposure as low as reasonably achievable below the exposure limit established under section 5.48.
(3) The exposure control plan must meet the requirements of section 5.54.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 258/2008, effective January 1, 2009.]

5.58 Protective policy
(1) At any worksite where a worker is exposed to a substance which is identified in section 5.57(1) as an ACGIH reproductive toxin or an ACGIH sensitizer, the employer must develop policy and procedures appropriate to the risk, which may include protective reassignment.
(2) The policy and procedures required by subsection (1) must
(a) inform workers about the reproductive toxin and identify ways to minimize exposure to the toxin for a worker who has advised the employer of pregnancy or intent to conceive a child, and
(b) identify ways to eliminate or minimize exposure to a sensitizer for a worker who is or may be sensitized to that substance.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 258/2008, effective January 1, 2009.]

5.59 Investigating symptoms
(1) If a worker exhibits signs or reports symptoms of overexposure to a hazardous substance present in the workplace, the employer must investigate and assess the potential for exposure.
(2) If the assessment demonstrates that the signs or symptoms can be caused by exposure to a hazardous substance that is present in the workplace, further investigation must be conducted, in consultation with the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable, to address and resolve the worker's concern.
(3) Records of the investigation required under subsection (2) must be made available to workers, and maintained by the employer for a minimum of 10 years.

Ventilation

5.60 Application
Sections 5.61 to 5.71 apply to ventilation used for the control of air contaminants in the workplace, except for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings, which are subject to requirements onindoor air quality in Part 4 (General Conditions).

5.61 Engineering principles
A ventilation system for controlling airborne contaminants in the workplace must be designed, installed and maintained using established engineering principles.
Note: A useful guide is Industrial Ventilation -- A Manual of Recommended Practice published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

5.62 Submitting plans
The employer or the employer's agent must submit to the Board drawings and specifications for an existing or proposed ventilation system if requested by the Board.

5.63 Building modifications
The owner of a building must permit an employer to install an exhaust ventilation and makeup air system to meet the requirements of this Part for controlling harmful air contaminants in the workplace, provided that all such work is subject to the approval of the owner acting reasonably.

5.64 Controlling air contaminants
(1) If ventilation is used as an engineering control, an air contaminant must be controlled at the source by an effective local exhaust ventilation system.
(2) If local exhaust ventilation is not practicable, general (dilution) ventilation, or a combination of general and local exhaust ventilation must be used.

5.65 Worker location
A local exhaust ventilation system must be designed so that under normal work procedures a worker's breathing zone is not located between the source of contamination and the exhaust uptake.

5.66 Ventilation openings
A ventilation system must not be obstructed by material or equipment placed in front of the ventilation openings.

5.67 Effectiveness
(1) An exhaust ventilation system used to control air contaminants in the workplace must remain in operation until the work process is completed and the air contaminants generated have been removed so as not to be a hazard to workers.
(2) An exhaust ventilation system used to control air contaminants in the workplace must be regularly inspected and monitored to ensure that it remains effective.

5.68 Failure warning
If failure of an exhaust ventilation system would result in a hazard that is not readily apparent to affected workers, the system must be equipped with a device or other means to warn those workers in the event of system failure.

5.69 Makeup air
(1) An adequate supply of makeup air must be provided as necessary to
(a) maintain the effectiveness of an exhaust ventilation system, or
(b) prevent an air contaminant being drawn into the work space from another work area.
(2) A makeup air supply must not expose a worker to uncomfortable temperatures or drafts.

5.70 Discharged air
(1) The use of a ventilation system designed to recirculate contaminants into the work area is restricted by the provisions of Table 5-1.
(2) A ventilation system that discharges air from the work area must be designed to minimize the likelihood of exposing any worker at a workplace, including an adjacent workplace,
(a) to an air contaminant in a concentration which exceeds either 10% of its applicable exposure limit in this Part or an acceptable ambient air quality standard established by an authority having jurisdiction over environmental air standards, whichever is greater, and
(b) if practicable, to an objectionable odour.
Note: Contaminated exhaust discharged to the outdoor air is subject to the applicable federal, provincial and municipal requirements.

5.71 Flammable air contaminants
(1) If an operation or work process produces a combustible or flammable air contaminant in concentrations that may present a risk of fire or explosion, the employer must provide a separate exhaust ventilation system for the operation or work process.
(2) Electrical components of an exhaust ventilation system required by subsection (1) must comply with Class I Division I requirements of CSA Standard C22.1-94, Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1 if the components contact the air stream.
(3) A dust collector having an internal volume greater than 0.6 m3 (20 ft3) and being used to control combustible dusts must be located and constructed so that no worker will be endangered in the event of an explosion inside the collector.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
AnchorAnchorInternal Combustion Engines

5.72 Venting outdoors
Whenever possible, exhaust from any internal combustion engine operated indoors must be vented to the outdoors.

5.73 Indoor operation
If mobile equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is operated indoors or in an enclosed work area
(a) the engine must be adequately serviced and maintained to minimize the concentration of air contaminants in the exhaust, and
(b) the work area must be assessed to determine the potential for exposure of workers to harmful levels of exhaust components.

 

5.74 Emission controls
If a worker is or may be exposed to an exhaust gas component in concentrations exceeding the applicable exposure limits, exhaust gas scrubbers, catalytic converters, or other engineering controls must be installed.

5.75 Mobile equipment emission controls
Mobile equipment manufactured after January 1, 1999 that is regularly operated indoors must be
(a) equipped with an emission control system that includes a feedback control for air/fuel ratio, and a three-way catalytic converter if the mobile equipment is powered by gasoline, propane or natural gas, or other measures acceptable to the Board, or
(b) equipped with a scrubber or other emission control system that reduces particulate emissions by at least 70% when tested according to the procedures of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, US Department of Labour, or must meet another standard acceptable to the Board, if the mobile equipment is powered by diesel fuel.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 381/2004, effective January 1, 2005.]
AnchorAnchorBack to Top

Hazardous Wastes and Emissions
AnchorAnchor5.76 Label
If an employer produces, stores, handles or disposes of a hazardous waste at a workplace, the employer must, except as provided in section 5.79, ensure that a workplace label is applied to each container of hazardous waste, or the information mandated by the Controlled Products Regulations (Canada) is provided, if applicable.

5.77 Placard
(1) An employer may identify a hazardous waste which is not in a container by posting a placard in a workplace which
(a) discloses the information required for a workplace label, and
(b) is of a size and in locations so that the information is conspicuous and clearly legible to workers.
(2) If a fugitive emission that contains a controlled product is produced or disposed of, the employer must post a placard which complies with subsection (1), or ensure equivalent information is provided to workers through identification and training.

5.78 MSDS
If a hazardous waste or a fugitive emission that contains a controlled product is produced, stored, handled or disposed of in the workplace, the employer must prepare an MSDS for the hazardous waste or fugitive emission unless a hazardous waste profile sheet or its equivalent which addresses composition, hazards and safe measures for the waste or fugitive emission is readily available.

5.79 Sale or disposal
An employer must not sell or dispose of a hazardous waste intended for use, handling, storage or disposal in a workplace unless
(a) the hazardous waste or container in which the waste is packaged has a label or placard which complies with sections 5.76 and 5.77, and
(b) at the time of sale or disposal the employer transmits to the receiver an MSDS for the controlled products in the hazardous waste or a hazardous waste profile sheet which addresses the composition, hazards and safe measures for the hazardous waste.

5.80 Sharp-edged waste
Broken glass, metal or similar rigid, sharp-edged waste must be disposed of in separate, puncture proof waste containers and the contents of the containers must be clearly identified.

5.81 Combustible dust
If combustible dust collects in a building or structure or on machinery or equipment, it must be safely removed before accumulation of the dust could cause a fire or explosion.

Personal Hygiene
AnchorAnchor5.82 Employer's responsibility
(1) If a work process may result in harm to a worker from contamination of the worker's skin or clothing by a hazardous substance, the employer must
(a) supply appropriate protective clothing,
(b) launder or dispose of the protective clothing on a regular basis, according to the hazard,
(c) provide adequate wash facilities, and
(d) allow time for washing before each work break.
(2) If work processes involving substances such as lead, mercury, asbestos, silica or pesticides are high hazard, the employer must also ensure that workers are provided with
(a) clothing lockers in separate rooms for street clothing and work clothing,
(b) heated shower facilities between the rooms, and
(c) time for showering and clothing change before the end of the work shift.
(3) In a remote location where provision of change rooms and shower facilities is not practicable, separate clothing storage and adequate washing facilities must be provided.

5.83 Worker's responsibility
A worker engaged in a work process described in section 5.82 must
(a) wear the supplied protective clothing,
(b) wash effectively before each work break and the end of the work shift, and
(c) shower at the end of the work shift, if required by the hazard.

5.84 Prohibition
Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or storing food is prohibited in any work area where a work process described in section 5.82 takes place.

 

Emergency Washing Facilities
AnchorAnchor5.85 Where required
The employer must ensure that appropriate emergency washing facilities are provided within a work area where a worker's eyes or skin may be exposed to harmful or corrosive materials or other materials which may burn or irritate.

5.86 Water supply
(1) For a plumbed emergency eyewash facility, the employer must ensure that only a potable water supply is used.
(2) For a portable (non-plumbed) eyewash unit, the employer must ensure that only potable water or an isotonic saline flushing solution is used.

5.87 Access
The employer must ensure that access to emergency eyewash and shower facilities is not blocked by material or equipment.

5.88 Risk assessment
The employer must ensure that the selection of emergency washing facilities is based upon an assessment of the risks present in the workplace, according to Table 5-2.
AnchorAnchorAnchor5.89 Equipment required
(1) The employer must ensure, except where it is not practicable to provide a permanent water supply, such as at a remote or transient worksite, that emergency eyewash and shower facilities are provided and located as specified in Table 5-3.
(2) Requirements for tempered water in Table 5-3 do not apply if the advice of a medical professional indicates that tempered washing would increase the risk of injury in a particular application.

5.90 Transient worksites
(1) The employer must ensure that portable self-contained units are provided, where it is not practicable to provide a permanent water supply at transient worksites such as construction sites.
(2) The employer must ensure that portable self-contained units at these transient worksites are capable of delivering a minimum flush duration of 15 minutes (or more if required by the nature of the material) if there is a high or a moderate risk of injury to the eyes or skin.

5.91 Remote worksites
The employer must ensure that effective means to flush the eyes or skin, based upon an assessment of the risk, is reasonably available at a remote worksite if it is not practicable to provide a portable self-contained unit.

5.92 Signs
The employer must ensure that emergency eyewash and shower facilities are clearly identified by signs which indicate their location and provide clear directions for their use.

 

5.93 Testing
(1) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
(2) The employer must ensure that a plumbed emergency eyewash or shower facility is full flow tested at least once per month, for a sufficient length of time to completely flush the branch of the water line supplying the eyewash.
(3) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

5.94 Training
The employer must ensure that workers who are required to use emergency eyewash and shower facilities are adequately trained in their location and proper use.

5.95 Protection from freezing
The employer must ensure that an emergency eyewash or shower facility and the piping from the supply are protected against freezing.

5.96 Valve operation
The employer must ensure that a valve which activates an emergency eyewash or shower facility is designed so that, once activated, the flow of water or flushing solution will continue without requiring the use of the operator's hands.

Emergency Procedures
AnchorAnchor5.97 Emergency plan
(1) A workplace must have a written emergency plan, appropriate to the hazards of the workplace, that addresses the requirements of sections 5.98 to 5.102.
(2) The plan must address emergency conditions which may arise from within the workplace and from adjacent workplaces.
(3) The plan must be developed, implemented and annually reviewed in consultation with the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable.

5.98 Inventory
(1) An inventory must be maintained which identifies all hazardous substances at the workplace in quantities that may endanger workers in an emergency including controlled products covered by WHMIS, explosives, pesticides, radioactive materials, hazardous wastes, and consumer products.
(2) The inventory must identify the nature, location, and approximate quantity of all such substances, and the location of MSDSs.

5.99 Risk assessment
An employer must ensure that an assessment is conducted of the risks posed by hazardous substances from accidental release, fire or other such emergency.

5.100 Procedures for evacuation
(1) Written evacuation procedures appropriate to the risk must be developed and implemented to
(a) notify workers, including the first aid attendant, of the nature and location of the emergency,
(b) evacuate workers safely,
(c) check and confirm the safe evacuation of all workers,
(d) notify the fire department or other emergency responders, and
(e) notify adjacent workplaces or residences which may be affected if the risk of exposure to a substance extends beyond the workplace.
(2) Notification of the public must be in conformity with the requirements of other jurisdictions, including provincial and municipal agencies.

5.101 Procedures for spill cleanup and re-entry
If workers are required to control a release of a hazardous substance, to perform cleanup of a spill, or to carry out testing before re-entry, the employer must provide
(a) adequate written safe work procedures,
(b) appropriate personal protective equipment which is readily available to workers and is adequately maintained, and
(c) material or equipment necessary for the control and disposal of the hazardous substance.
Note: Other jurisdictions and agencies may require notification in the event of a spill.

5.102 Training and drills
The employer must
(a) provide training in the appropriate emergency procedures to all workers who may be affected, and
(b) conduct drills to test the adequacy of procedures and to ensure that workers and supervisors are familiar with their roles and responsibilities.

TABLE 5-4: EXPOSURE LIMITS AND DESIGNATIONS [Repealed by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

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