WHMIS is a detailed plan for the safe workplace use of hazardous materials. Employers are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of workers who may be exposed to WHMIS-controlled products.
Many chemicals used in the workplaces are classified as hazardous products under WHMIS. WHMIS is a hazard communication system outlining the health and safety information about the hazardous chemicals using product labels, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and worker education and training. If any of the hazard symbols are printed on the product labels or the SDS provided by the chemical manufacturer/supplier, then the product is likely a WHMIS-controlled product.
WHMIS 2015 Hazard Symbols
If a WHMIS controlled product is used in the workplace, the employer is required to:
- ensure that the chemicals have appropriate product labels;
- provide SDS for the chemicals and have them readily available on-site; and
- ensure the workers receive both generic and site-specific (i.e. specific to the chemicals used in the workplace) WHMIS training.
For non-WHMIS controlled chemical products used in the workplace, the employer is required to provide information about the chemicals to the workers, and train them in the precautions to be taken with respect to handling, use, storage, production, and/or disposal of those chemicals used.
If you have any questions, please contact the Occupational Hygiene Unit at Occupational Health and Safety 1-800-567-7233.