There have been reports of misleading and high pressure phone calls about the status of WHMIS 2015 compliance, warns Wagish Yajaman, WSPS’ Manager of Technical Services. These calls may lead you to believe you are falling short on your legal obligations. “The caller may infer they are from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, but they’re not,” explains Wagish.
The best way to stop these callers in their tracks is to ensure you are in full compliance, advises Wagish. He offers suggestions below.
How to recognize a fake call
The Ministry of Labour will not call your firm to ask about compliance or whether you’ve met legislative requirements, says Wagish. What’s more, the ministry does not offer training for WHMIS 2015. Instead, inspectors steer workplaces to health and safety associations such as WSPS, which are not-for-profit organizations mandated by law and funded by the government.
The ministry may come to your site, however, during focused inspection initiatives or for other reasons. In this instance, an inspector would show an official badge and identification.
Compliance questions to ask yourself
Here are four essential questions from Wagish:
- Is your joint health and safety committee (JHSC) involved in the annual review of your WHMIS 2015 program? The committee’s involvement will demonstrate that the internal responsibility system is working well and will help ensure workers understand WHMIS 2015 requirements. Conducting a review does not necessarily mean annual training. It may mean addressing specific knowledge gaps.
- Do you have safety data sheets (SDSs) for the chemicals used in your facility? There is currently no expiry date for SDSs, formerly known as MSDSs. Everyone in your workplace should have access to these SDSs. These are good sources of information about chemicals used in your workplace.
- Do you have WHMIS 2015 labels on containers with decanted materials? Are new products coming into the facility with WHMIS 2015 supplier labels?
- Do your employees know what the new WHMIS 2015 pictograms mean, and that the previous pictograms are no longer being used on products? Do they know what the new pictograms mean in the event of exposure? Pictograms and labels present strong visual opportunities to learn about the type of hazards that product users could encounter in the workplace.
How WSPS can help
If you have questions about specific compliance requirements, call WSPS Customer Care at 1-877 494 WSPS (9777) or visit our WHMIS 2015 resource page. It contains information on WHMIS requirements and provides links to classroom training, e-courses, complimentary downloads, and other resources that can help you ensure WHMIS 2015 compliance.
WSPS consultants are also on hand to help you conduct gap analyses and implement or update a WHMIS compliance program.