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.
WHSC can help!
The employer obligation to provide WHMIS training in the new system is mandatory
regardless of whether workers were trained in the old WHMIS system.
To help workplaces seeking to comply
with new WHMIS training obligations,
the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) has developed two new WHMIS training programs —
WHMIS training and WHMIS online training. Both WHMIS training programs are intended for workers, supervisors, managers.
Both are also
highly interactive, applying adult learning principles to ensure learning is engaging, relevant and achieved. Upon successful completion of our WHMIS training program, WHSC issues a WHMIS certificate
of training and maintains student records for any future requirement.
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To learn more about WHMIS training
call 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC Training Services representative or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. 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.