What Are Your Responsibilities during the WHMIS Transition?

Health Canada Headquarters

The main components of the Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are hazard identification and product classification, labeling, safety data sheets, and employee training. These components have various implications for individuals who manufacture, sell, or handle hazardous materials in the workplace – highlighted in detail below. It is imperative to be aware of the responsibilities associated with your job, regardless of your title. Knowledge is imperative to ensuring workplace safety. Therefore, we’ve also briefly addressed the education aspect of WHMIS, as training is critical for any individual who handles hazardous products.

Health Canada HeadquartersFor Employers
– Ensure that hazardous products are properly labeled
– Prepare workplace labels (as needed)
– Provide access to up-to-date SDSs to workers
– Ensure appropriate control measures are in place to protect the health and safety of workers
– During the transition period, you will receive hazardous products that follow either WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015, it’s important to educate workers about both systems
– As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that employees have been appropriately trained before they work with controlled products
– After the final deadline, you will have to re-label old products with WHMIS 2015 compliant labels and SDSs

For Employees
– Participate in WHMIS education and training programs
– Take necessary steps to protect themselves and their co-workers
– Participate in identifying and controlling hazards

For Suppliers
Suppliers are classified as those organizations that sell or import hazardous products.
– Ensure that the appropriate classification of hazardous products is applied
– Accurately label the product or container
– Must provide a SDS to customers

WHMIS training has two fundamental education components.
1. Education: understanding the principles of WHMIS, and the meaning of the information on labels and MSDSs
2. Workplace Specific Training: knowing how to safely handle hazardous material at your work site


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