Workers Health & Safety Centre



Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, commonly known as WHMIS, is designed to provide workers, and others with critical health and safety information about hazardous products used, stored, handled or disposed of in the workplace.

Transitioning to GHS WHMIS

WHMIS is mandated by federal, provincial and territorial law. Changes to federal WHMIS-related law, and supporting provincial regulation here in Ontario (and other Canadian jurisdictions), are altering the way this information is delivered.  These changes are designed to standardize, on a global scale, the hazardous product information communication system.
This transition from original WHMIS to the new Globally-Harmonized (GHS) WHMIS must be completed by December 1, 2018.
In Ontario, WHMIS applies to all workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act along with federally-regulated workplaces governed by the Canada Labour Code.

Employer WHMIS-related obligations

The main purpose of federal WHMIS legislation is to require suppliers of hazardous products to provide health and safety information as a condition of sale.
Provincial and territorial law establish employer obligations to obtain this information and ensure workers have access and understand it. Here in Ontario, these employer obligations include:
  • ensuring a hazardous product is properly labelled,
  • ensuring workers have access to up-to-date safety data sheets,
  • training workers on the hazards and safe use of the hazardous product,
  • reviewing this training annually or more often if hazard information or work conditions change,
  • developing and reviewing training in consultation with the JHSC or worker health and safety representative; and
  • taking all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers.

Mandatory training

During transition to GHS WHMIS, employers must train workers in both systems. GHS WHMIS can become the sole focus of worker training only when all products with the original WHMIS labels and MSDSs are no longer used in the workplace.
The WHSC can help you comply with both WHMIS and GHS WHMIS training in both English and French through our ever-popular in-class learning format. The WHSC GHS WHMIS program is also available through e-learning—Register now.


Transitioning to Globally-Harmonized WHMIS: An Overview
GHS WHMIS wallet card  English / French
GHS WHMIS poster  English / French
Original WHMIS poster
GHS WHMIS training product sheet  English / French

Worker Rights Poster (offered in 17 languages)
To learn more about WHMIS/GHS WHMIS training call 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC Training Services representative or email us at Also, to fully comply with GHS WHMIS requirements, employers will need to develop and implement a workplace-specific education and training program, including safe work procedures. WHSC can help with this too.