What Haz the New HMIRA Done,  and Why  Does it Mat? Omar Ha-Redeye AAS, BHA(Hons.), CNMT, RT(N)(ARRT), J.D. Candidate Ha-R...
Agenda <ul><li>Part 1 – Background Information </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2 – New Amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Part 3 – The Fu...
What the HMIRA? <ul><li>Workplace chemicals regulated in Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous Products Act (HPA)  </li><...
Ok, But What the HMIRC? <ul><li>Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission established in 1987 </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
What are WHMIS? <ul><li>product labels, material data safety sheets available to employees and workers who handle hazardou...
Main Functions of HMIRC <ul><li>Adjudicates, issues decisions on the validity of claims for exemptions using prescribed re...
Commission Governance <ul><li>Council of Governors acts as an advisory body, provides strategic advice and guidance  </li>...
Kavanagh v. Treasury Board <ul><li>Kavanagh v. Treasury Board  [2000] C.P.S.S.R.B. No. 3 (MacLean) ‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Cor...
Part 2 – New Amendments
3 Main Amendments <ul><li>reduces administrative burden for documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>label applications as conf...
Impetus Behind Changes <ul><li>Foreign-based clients producing chemicals used in Canada 40% of HMIRC clients (1999) ‏ </li...
Purpose of Amendments <ul><li>Renewal program started 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Amendments first introduced in 2002 </li></ul...
Other Amendments <ul><li>Related Acts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations </li></ul><...
More Debate on Compliance <ul><li>NDP: 95% of MSDS not compliant with legislation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Libs: Not necessar...
Position of Labour <ul><li>Got best they could to protect workers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>didn’t strengthen it appreciably, ...
Language and Training Issues <ul><li>NDP raised issue of replacement workers during debate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not ha...
Part 3 – The Future
Priorities for the Future <ul><li>efficient client service delivery </li></ul><ul><li>management excellence </li></ul><ul>...
Burn that Paper (or Recycle It) <ul><li>Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative (PBRI), launched in February 2005 </li></ul>...
What About Asbestos? <ul><li>Canada is third largest producer and exporter in the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Dumped” in...
Gaps, Areas of Concern <ul><li>International harmonization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU, Australia do not allow trade secrets ...
Expanded Role for WHMIS? <ul><li>Commission looks at tiny percentage of WHMIS sheets, 10ks out there </li></ul><ul><li>Pes...
Risk Creator Pays System <ul><li>Major issue for HMIRC is costs </li></ul><ul><li>Amendments will help, but may not be eno...
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What Has HMIRA Done

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Omar Ha-Redeye covered the new amendments to the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) for the 2009 Explosion Protection & Hazardous Locations Conference in Calgary.

The event was for the oil & gas, mining, processing and utilities industries.

Materials are available from IDC Technologies, or online via SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1527588

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  • http://www.parl.gc.ca/39/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/soci-e/03ev-e.htm?Language=E&amp;Parl=39&amp;Ses=1&amp;comm_id=47 This bill would ensure that workers would receive information in a timely manner because instead of having to go through the Canada Gazette , one could make a voluntary undertaking.
  • http://www.parl.gc.ca/39/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/soci-e/03ev-e.htm?Language=E&amp;Parl=39&amp;Ses=1&amp;comm_id=47
  • http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=78439&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2
  • http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=2648265&amp;Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=39&amp;Ses=1#TOC-TS-1615
  • http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=39&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=2401737&amp;File=0#Int-1693618
  • The report The report identifies the main goal as the improvement of the claims exemption process and reduction of the two-year backlog of claims. This can be achieved by focusing on four departmental priorities: 1. Efficient client service delivery The Commission aims to continually improve the claims processing so there is less delay and employers and workers can access Material Safety Data Sheets as soon as possible. Less delay means less risk to workers in the workplace. The challenges faced by the Commission include the increase in the number and the complexity of the claims, the short staff of qualified scientific personnel, and the lack of resources to achieve important goals. The claims exemption process can be ameliorated with these initiatives: The development of an integrated data management system to ensure easy access by the Commission staff to all documents relevant to the claim; The development and application of new tools for evaluators and screening officers (such as electronic templates and guidance manuals); and An aggressive human resources strategy involving recruitment, training, development, and retention components to maintain a stable workforce. In addition, the Commission is exploring new strategies for acquiring the resources necessary to develop and implement these initiatives. 2. Management excellence The goal is to continue to integrate strategic and business planning with human resource planning. This can be accomplished by working with the other Health Portfolio partners (Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, and Assisted Human Reproduction Canada), particularly Health Canada, on management issues. The Commission will improve program management by enhancing the tools and practices to provide timely monitoring and reporting. 3. Modernized legislation In March of 2007, Bill S-2, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act, received Royal Assent. As a result, there will be a reduction in the amount of time required to review claims for exemption from disclosure of confidential information, an expedition of the correction of information workers need in order to handle hazardous materials safely, and an improvement and expedition in the appeals process. Regulations that accompany the Act will follow likely in the fall of 2008, such that both the legislation and regulations can take effect. The Commission is also working on amending the Hazardous Products Act to separate the legislation governing consumer products from the legislation governing Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System requirements. 4. International harmonization In addition, the Commission is working on the strategy for the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. It is a United Nations initiative to harmonize approaches to the classification and labelling of chemicals worldwide. The Commission is working with various governmental departments and agencies on the initiative. Moreover, the Commission will attempt to be responsive to any upcoming changes and to maintain an international presence. To view the report, go to www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rpp/2008-2009/inst/mhi/mhi-eng.pdf .
  • Government of Canada. Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative . Available at: http://reducingpaperburden.gc.ca/eic/site/pbri-iafp.nsf/eng/Home
  • http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=39&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=2401737&amp;File=0#TOC-TS-1710 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Convention
  • [1] [2003] 2 S.C.R. 624; 2003 SCC 58 at para. 24. [2] 2008 SCC 64 at para. 80. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=78495&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2
  • What Has HMIRA Done

    1. 1. What Haz the New HMIRA Done, and Why Does it Mat? Omar Ha-Redeye AAS, BHA(Hons.), CNMT, RT(N)(ARRT), J.D. Candidate Ha-Redeye Development Inc.
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Part 1 – Background Information </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2 – New Amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Part 3 – The Future </li></ul>
    3. 3. What the HMIRA? <ul><li>Workplace chemicals regulated in Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous Products Act (HPA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canada Labour Code (CLC) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hazardous Materials Information Review Act ( HMIRA ) allows identity of chemicals to be protected as trade secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Managed by HMIRC </li></ul>
    4. 4. Ok, But What the HMIRC? <ul><li>Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission established in 1987 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>held accountable to Parliament through the Ministry of Health </li></ul></ul><ul><li>independent quasi-judicial agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>protect the safety of our workers in Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><li>part of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides workers with information about health and safety </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. What are WHMIS? <ul><li>product labels, material data safety sheets available to employees and workers who handle hazardous materials </li></ul><ul><li>provide workers with information important for protection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>different types of hazardous ingredients working with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>specific risks encountered when utilizing those products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>precautions on how to store and transport products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to ensure the proper disposal of products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>first aid measures if there is any type of accidental exposure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>vital and important role in educating workers, ensuring their safety </li></ul>
    6. 6. Main Functions of HMIRC <ul><li>Adjudicates, issues decisions on the validity of claims for exemptions using prescribed regulatory criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Makes decisions on the compliance of MSDS and labels to WHMIS requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Convenes independent boards with representatives drawn from labour, suppliers, or employers to hear appeals from claimants or affected parties on decisions and orders </li></ul>
    7. 7. Commission Governance <ul><li>Council of Governors acts as an advisory body, provides strategic advice and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>up to 18 members representing key stakeholders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 representing workers, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 representing suppliers, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 representing employers, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 representing the federal government, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 - 13 representing provincial and territorial governments responsible for occupational health and safety </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Kavanagh v. Treasury Board <ul><li>Kavanagh v. Treasury Board [2000] C.P.S.S.R.B. No. 3 (MacLean) ‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Correctional officer at a prison </li></ul><ul><li>Outside contractor painting gallery, left a strong smell </li></ul><ul><li>Requested MSDS under s. 125.1 of Canada Labour Code, invoked right to refuse to work under s. 128 </li></ul><ul><li>Held: employer failed to act in accordance with its duty under sections 124 and 125.1. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Part 2 – New Amendments
    10. 10. 3 Main Amendments <ul><li>reduces administrative burden for documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>label applications as confidential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>commission only review applications if challenged on the basis of confidentiality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>voluntary correction of material safety data sheets and product labels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If correction required to product labels or MSDS, has to appear in Canada Gazette through a formal order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not binding until 75 days after it has been publicized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>workers cannot receive appropriate information until 75 days after it has appeared in the Canada Gazette </li></ul></ul><ul><li>improves the appeals process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for commission to speed up the process </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Impetus Behind Changes <ul><li>Foreign-based clients producing chemicals used in Canada 40% of HMIRC clients (1999) ‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little or no knowledge of Canadian regs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate, bring into compliance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assumption in 1988 of 1,500 claims/year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actual (1999) of 190/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are they actually overworked? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Reducing admin burden </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on MSDS and labels </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Purpose of Amendments <ul><li>Renewal program started 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Amendments first introduced in 2002 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interrupted by two elections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>manufacturers of hazardous materials can become exempt from providing full disclosure of the nature of their products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>where that disclosure would force to reveal trade secrets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>value of the trade secrets protected around $624 million/year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A balance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the workers' right to know about the hazardous materials they deal with in the workplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the industry's right to protect confidential business information </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Other Amendments <ul><li>Related Acts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow electronic filing of claims </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Costly, inconvenient by mail or person </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compliance with Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace 'related groups' and 'persons' with no personal interest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow access to HMIRC decisions to staff for training and policy purposes </li></ul>
    14. 14. More Debate on Compliance <ul><li>NDP: 95% of MSDS not compliant with legislation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Libs: Not necessarily unsafe; union support for amendments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CPC: shortcomings potentially a major threat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avg 9 violations/yr from those investigated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>failure to identify the effects of exposure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>failure to identify risks of fire or explosion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>failure to provide adequate information on the appropriate first aid measure if a worker is accidentally exposed to a hazardous material </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libs: Fairly serious problem (2004-2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>92 violations concentration ratio of hazardous ingredients missing, incorrect </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>47 violations in contact information; name or telephone missing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>101 violations concerning reactivity or incompatibility with other products </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>119 violations regarding the effects of acute exposure (toxicological properties) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>127 violations pertaining to the effects of chronic exposure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>85 violations regarding exposure limits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>80 instances where manufacturers of first aid products removed information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>84 instances no description of treatment for skin contact </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Position of Labour <ul><li>Got best they could to protect workers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>didn’t strengthen it appreciably, but prevented it from getting substantially weakened </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Could have reduced structure to make it requirement that HMIRC recover own costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently cost recovery 20-35% from industry, rest from government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Could have reduced scope and depth of MSDS review for only one ingredient for exemption instead of entire data sheet </li></ul>
    16. 16. Language and Training Issues <ul><li>NDP raised issue of replacement workers during debate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not have appropriate procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No organized workforce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Safety issues were lax </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Can training be provided in other languages? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BQ: French versions are slow to come out </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Part 3 – The Future
    18. 18. Priorities for the Future <ul><li>efficient client service delivery </li></ul><ul><li>management excellence </li></ul><ul><li>modernized legislation </li></ul><ul><li>international harmonization </li></ul>
    19. 19. Burn that Paper (or Recycle It) <ul><li>Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative (PBRI), launched in February 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>red tape costs businesses $33 billion/yr </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible future HMIRA amendments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>separate out consumer products from WHMIS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. What About Asbestos? <ul><li>Canada is third largest producer and exporter in the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Dumped” into developing countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>220,000 tonnes/year in India, Thailand, Senegal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Rotterdam Convention: Canada opposed inclusion of asbestos on hazardous materials list </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Convention doesn’t seek to ban </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only caution about its dangers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proposal to include amendment about international obligations </li></ul>
    21. 21. Gaps, Areas of Concern <ul><li>International harmonization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU, Australia do not allow trade secrets for specific chronic endpoints, i.e. carcinogenicity, chronic toxicity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>enables companies to sell, distribute and/or use their product while claim is being processed </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns over abuse with voluntary attestation </li></ul><ul><li>Is HMIRC scope too narrow? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Expanded Role for WHMIS? <ul><li>Commission looks at tiny percentage of WHMIS sheets, 10ks out there </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticides not currently reviewed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pest Management Regulatory Agency would want to do it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideally cover consumer products as well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopted by EU </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Risk Creator Pays System <ul><li>Major issue for HMIRC is costs </li></ul><ul><li>Amendments will help, but may not be enough </li></ul><ul><li>Use polluter pays principles with chemical industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To encourage sustainable development, that principle assigns polluters the responsibility for remedying contamination for which they are responsible and imposes on them the direct and immediate costs of pollution. At the same time, polluters are asked to pay more attention to the need to protect ecosystems in the course of their economic activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Imperial Oil Ltd. v. Quebec and St. Lawrence Cement Inc. v. Barrette) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Currently a user pay system </li></ul>
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