WHMIS / GHS Information - What You Need to Know

The national standard that Canada uses to classify, label, and communicate information about hazardous products in the workplace, is known as WHMIS 2015. This standard aligns with a global system known as the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Hazardous products that are used and stored in the workplace are classified according to WHMIS 2015 requirements. As a result, employers have the duty to educate and train workers on the requirements of WHMIS 2015.

On this page, you will find key information to help employers fulfill this responsibility. The training will provide the opportunity to discover what your legal duties are, and how WHMIS 2015 is being enforced in both provincially and federally regulated workplaces.

History and program evolution

WHMIS 2015 SymbolsWHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) is a Canada-wide hazard communication standard for protecting the health and safety of workers who use, store and handle hazardous chemicals. WHMIS has been aligned with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Since the integration with GHS, it's was rebranded as WHMIS 2015. Organisations in Canada had a 3 year period to transition to WHMIS 2015 from WHMIS 1988, and a deadline to be completely implemented and compliant was set for December 1, 2018.

The GHS was developed by the United Nations to replace an assortment of national hazard classification systems (toxic, harmful, hazardous, depending on the country) with one global set of rules for communicating hazard information.

By incorporating GHS standards, WHMIS 2015 provides more detailed and consistent hazard information, making it easier for workers to recognize hazards and protect themselves, and for workplaces to comply with legislated requirements.

While WHMIS 2015 includes new harmonized criteria for hazard classification and requirements for labels and safety data sheets (SDS), the roles and responsibilities for suppliers, employers and workers have not changed.

So what are the roles and responsibilities under WHMIS 2015?

Suppliers, defined as persons who, in the course of business, sell or import a hazardous product, will continue to:

  • Identify whether their products are hazardous products; and,
  • Prepare labels and SDSs and provide these to purchasers of hazardous products intended for use in a workplace.

Employers will continue to:

  • Ensure hazardous products used in the workplace are properly labeled and are accompanied by safety data sheets.
  • Train workers on how to use labels and data sheets to help protect their health and safety.
  • Train workers on the hazards and safe use of hazardous products in the workplace.
  • Provide workers with access to up-to-date SDSs and labels.
  • Ensure appropriate control measures are in place to protect the health and safety of workers

Workers will continue to:

  • Participate in WHMIS 2015 and chemical safety training programs;
  • Take necessary steps to protect themselves and their co-workers; and,
  • Participate in identifying and controlling hazards.

How Are WHMIS 2015 Requirements Being Enforced in Ontario?

Here is how enforcement is being carried out in:

Provincially-Regulated Workplaces (Ontario): As of July 1, 2016, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has been responsible for enforcing the provincial WHMIS 2015 requirements.

Federally-Regulated Workplaces: Your workplace falls under the Canada Labour Code with enforcement carried out by the Labour Program of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in partnership with Transport Canada and the National Energy Board.

How Do I Show Compliance with WHMIS 2015 Requirements?

In order to show compliance with WHMIS 2015 requirements, employers must be able to show Inspectors:

  • They have programs and procedures in place.
  • The products being used have labels that meet WHMIS 2015 requirements.
  • Education and training records are being kept (both generic and workplace-specific).

What Are My Next Steps?

WSPS offers these suggestions to help you meet the new requirements:

  • Ensure your workplace is WHMIS 2015 compliant
  • Review and revise in-house inventories, processes, training programs and materials to reflect WHMIS 2015 requirements.
  • Provide generic training to workplace parties on WHMIS 2015 hazard groups and classes and on the content and format of labels and SDS. This training applies to both hazardous products that have been used previously in the workplace but now have WHMIS 2015 labels, and hazardous products that are new to the workplace.
  • Provide workplace-specific training to workers on the safe use, handling, storage and disposal of hazardous products that are new to the workplace or have been newly classified as hazardous under WHMIS 2015. This training is essential for workers who are handling chemicals for the first time.

How WSPS Can Help

WSPS can help you with your WHMIS 2015 training needs and more. We can answer your questions and provide the resources and solutions that you need to make compliance easier.

To arrange for the help of a WSPS consultant, call 1-877-494-WSPS (9777) or 905-614-1400.

WHMIS 2015 training solutions are now available and in various learning formats.

 

(M)SDS Management Service™

Managing chemical safety and WHMIS compliance just got easier.

Now available through WSPS, the CCOHS online (M)SDSs Management Service™ puts all of your material/safety data sheets (M/SDS) in one convenient, secure location for your staff to access anytime. The service also:
  • Keeps your M/SDS current
  • Makes them available anytime to an unlimited number of users
  • Offers choice from an English or French interface
  • Gives you complimentary access to the CCOHS full library of over 400,000 M/SDSs for chemical products and to the CMEMINFO database of comprehensive, practical information on workplace chemicals.

Find out how easy and cost-effective it is to have a customized, current and complete M/SDS collection. Visit: www.wsps.ca/MSDS.

For more information, call 1-877-494-WSPS (9777).

Consulting Services

Consulting Services Awareness Sessions

Consulting Services Awareness Sessions

Awareness sessions are presentations of up to 2 hours in length delivered at your workplace by WSPS consultants. They are designed to help meet your legal duty to provide information about workplace hazards to employees.


Occupational Hygiene

Occupational Hygiene

 WSPS can provide occupational hygiene services including airborne chemical, physical and biological agent exposure assessments, and indoor air quality exposure assessments. The credentials of our occupational hygienists include Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), recognized worldwide, Registered Occupational Hygienist (ROH), the Canada-wide designation in occupational hygiene, and Professional Engineer (P.Eng).

Training

WHMIS 2015 for Workers - Instructor-Led Training (1/2 day)

WHMIS 2015 for Workers - Instructor-Led Training (1/2 day)

WHMIS 2015 training for workers delivered by a WSPS expert.
1 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$149.00

WHMIS 2015: Train the Trainer

WHMIS 2015: Train the Trainer

This 1-day course qualifies participants and equips them with everything they need to deliver in-house, instructor-led, WHMIS 2015 training to workers.

2 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
$949.00

Workplace Mental Health: What Health and Safety Committees Should Know

Workplace Mental Health: What Health and Safety Committees Should Know

UPDATED Workplace Mental Health: What Health and Safety Committees Should Know is a one-day instructor-led training solution that is designed to help health and safety committee members evolve traditional ways of thinking of Occupational Health and Safety to include a more holistic approach that is inclusive of overall health and safety: physical, mental and social.

  • Classroom
  • On-site
$249.00

E-Courses

Le SIMDUT 2015 pour les gestionnaires et les superviseurs (français) (1,5 heure)

Le SIMDUT 2015 pour les gestionnaires et les superviseurs (français) (1,5 heure)

Comprendre et assumer vos responsabilités en santé et sécurité en vertu du SIMDUT 2015.

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$15.00

SIMDUT 2015 : comprendre les FDS  (français) (75 minutes)

SIMDUT 2015 : comprendre les FDS (français) (75 minutes)

Bien comprendre les fiches de données de sécurité grâce à ce cours de niveau intermédiaire.

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$15.00

SIMDUT 2015 : introduction (français)

SIMDUT 2015 : introduction (français)

Renseignez-vous sur les changements apportés du SIMDUT après la mise en œuvre du SGH.

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$0.00

SIMDUT 2015 pour les travailleurs (français)

SIMDUT 2015 pour les travailleurs (français)

À compter du 1er décembre 2018, il devra y avoir des étiquettes et des FDS du SIMDUT 2015 pour tous les produits dangereux utilisés au travail. Les travailleurs doivent maintenant recevoir de l'éducation sur le SIMDUT 2015.

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$15.00

WHMIS 2015 for Managers and Supervisors (English) (1.5 hours)

WHMIS 2015 for Managers and Supervisors (English) (1.5 hours)

Understand and meet your health and safety responsibilities under WHMIS 2015.

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$15.00

WHMIS 2015 for Office Environments (English) (1 hour)

WHMIS 2015 for Office Environments (English) (1 hour)

Learn the basics of WHMIS 2015 to improve safety in your office environment.

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$15.00

WHMIS 2015 for Workers (English)

WHMIS 2015 for Workers (English)

As of December 1, 2018, there must be WHMIS 2015 labels and safety data sheets for all hazardous products in the workplace. Workers now need education on WHMIS 2015.

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$15.00

WHMIS 2015: An Introduction (English)

WHMIS 2015: An Introduction (English)

Learn about the changes to WHMIS after GHS implementation.
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$0.00

WHMIS 2015: Understanding SDSs (English) (1.25 hours)

WHMIS 2015: Understanding SDSs (English) (1.25 hours)

Gain a thorough understanding of safety data sheets in this intermediate level course.

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$15.00

WSPS WHMIS 2015 for Workers: eCourse

WSPS WHMIS 2015 for Workers: eCourse

To give employers and workers information about hazardous materials used in the workplace.

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$29.00

Self-paced Training

WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program - Additional Print Package

WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program - Additional Print Package

Additional print package for the WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program.
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$59.00

WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program (DVD)

WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program (DVD)

This cost-effective and flexible self-paced program allows you to train workers on WHMIS 2015 at your convenience.
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$299.00

WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program (USB)

WHMIS 2015 for Workers Self-Paced Training Program (USB)

NEW! This cost-effective and flexible self-paced program allows you to train workers on WHMIS 2015 at your convenience.

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$299.00

Articles

Ontario's New WHMIS regulation: 2 key changes, plus implementation tips

Ontario's New WHMIS regulation: 2 key changes, plus implementation tips

As of July 1, Ontario moved one step closer to full alignment with WHMIS 2015, the new national standard for classifying, labelling and communicating information about hazardous products in the workplace. This was the day on which amendments to Ontario's WHMIS Regulation came into force - amendments that affect your workplace. We can help you understand the changes and start complying.

Jul 29, 2016
WHMIS 2015: 4 top training questions from employers

WHMIS 2015: 4 top training questions from employers

Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) changed on February 11, 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This new WHMIS is called "WHMIS 2015" and the original version is now referred to as "WHMIS 1988."

Mar 03, 2016
Meet new WHMIS / GHS compliance deadlines with these 6 steps

Meet new WHMIS / GHS compliance deadlines with these 6 steps

Manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous products now have a series of deadlines for complying with changes to Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) that have been in the works for years. These deadlines, published in a February issue of the Canada Gazette Part II, also apply to federally regulated employers. Employers under provincial and territorial jurisdiction can likely expect the same or slightly staggered deadlines.

Mar 06, 2015