Aligning WHMIS with GHS will help to:
- Enhance the protection of worker health and safety by having improved and consistent hazard information.
- Encourage safe transport, handling, and use of hazardous products.
- Promote better emergency response.
- Promote regulatory efficiency and compliance.
- Facilitate international trade.
The Transition Period
A multi-year transition phase has been announced.
From now until May 31, 2017, suppliers (manufacturers and importers) can use WHMIS 1988 OR WHMIS 2015 to classify and communicate the hazards of their products.
Beginning June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, distributors can continue to sell, and suppliers importing for their own use can continue to import, hazardous products with labels and (M)SDSs that are compliant with 1988 or 2015 WHMIS.
Employer Duties in the Transition
To ensure worker protection, employers must educate and train workers about WHMIS 2015 as new labels and SDSs appear in their workplaces. However, during the transition period, employers may continue to have WHMIS 1988 labels and MSDSs in the workplace – if so, they must also continue to educate workers about WHMIS 1988.
All hazardous products used in the workplace are covered by the WHMIS regulations, and a WHMIS program, including education and training, must be in place.
The Hazardous Products Regulation sets out specific hazard classification criteria. If a product covered by this Act meets the criteria to be included in a hazard class or category, it is considered to be a hazardous product.
WHMIS 2015 involves:
- Classification of hazardous products into hazard classes and categories according to specific rules
- Communication of hazard and precautionary information using labels and SDSs
- New pictograms and new requirements for labels and SDSs
GHS will not replace WHMIS, it will, however, introduce some important changes to WHMIS. Learning these changes to WHMIS is part of the knowledge you need to protect yourself and your coworkers from hazardous products.
In this training you will learn how to:
- Understand labels
- Recognize the pictograms (symbols) and understand that hazards they represent
- Identify the hazards represented by each hazard class
- Find additional information about hazards and protective measures on Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
What Does WHMIS Do?
- WHMIS rules for classifying hazardous products into hazard classes and categories
- Requires suppliers to attach labels to hazardous products that meet one or more of the classification criteria according to the Hazardous Products Act and regulations
- Requires suppliers to provide SDSs for these hazardous products to their customers
Exclusions Under WHMIS
- Explosives (Explosives Act)
- Cosmetic, device, drug or food (Food and Drugs Act)
- Pest control products (Pest Control Products Act)
- Consumer products (Canada Consumer Product Safety Act)
- Wood or products made of wood
- Nuclear substances (Nuclear Safety and Control Act) that are radioactive
- Hazardous waste that is sold for recycling or recovery and is intended for disposal
- Tobacco and tobacco products (Tobacco Act)
- Manufactured articles