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.
Employers must ensure their workers know the hazards of controlled products through a general WHMIS training program. They must also provide workplace-specific training programs, product labelling and readily-available safety information documents.
With the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in Canada, WHMIS has changed. This modified version is referred to as WHMIS 2015.
Changes to Saskatchewan’s WHMIS legislation include:
- A new name for controlled products. They will now be called hazardous products.
- New rules related to the classification of workplace chemicals.
- New labelling requirements using pictograms instead of symbols.
- A new name for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). They will now be referred to as Safety Data Sheets [SDS] and require a different format.
The key responsibilities of suppliers, employers and workers remain the same.
Saskatchewan has amended its legislation to reflect the new requirements: Effective January 1, 2016, housekeeping amendments were made to Part III of The Saskatchewan Employment Act.
Amendments to the requirements for employers and workers within The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996, and The Occupational Health and Safety (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) Regulations will take effect on August 17, 2016. Workplaces will have until December 1, 2018 to come into full compliance. During the transition period, workplaces need to be fully compliant with the existing provisions or with the new WHMIS 2015, but not both.
WHMIS.org provides information on WHMIS requirements, legislation and training resources across Canada. Online training for WHMIS 2015 is available through WorkSafe Saskatchewan.