Safety training is a crucial aspect of workplace safety, and it is a legal requirement for employers to provide their workers with appropriate safety training. In Canada, employers must adhere to various safety training requirements, including WHMIS training, but what does WHMIS stand for?
WHMIS is a comprehensive system that provides information on hazardous materials in the workplace. Workers must receive proper training on WHMIS to protect themselves from the potential hazards of these materials.
In this blog, we will explore the online safety training requirements in Canada, with a particular focus on WHMIS, and provide tips for employers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations and creating a safe and healthy work environment for their workers.
What do the initials WHMIS stand for?
WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is an elaborated system developed in Canada by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety to provide information on hazardous materials in the workplace, including the safe handling, storage, and disposal of these materials.
The system was created to ensure that workers have access to accurate and up-to-date information about the hazardous materials they work with and to protect them from the potential safety and health hazards associated with these materials.
Canada Align with GHS
Canada has aligned its Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This alignment involves a series of changes to how hazardous materials are classified and labelled and the content and format of safety data sheets (SDSs).
This alignment aims to create a global standard for hazard communication that will help ensure the safe use, handling, and transportation of hazardous materials, while also reducing trade barriers and promoting consistency across different countries and regions.
The alignment of WHMIS with GHS has been implemented in phases, with the final implementation completed in 2018.
WHMIS Education and Training
Education and training on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are essential to workplace safety.
Workers who handle hazardous materials must receive training on the proper handling, storage, and disposal of these materials and the hazards associated with them. This training helps workers to recognize the potential risks associated with the materials they work with and to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and others in the workplace.
The education and training on WHMIS can be divided into two parts: general education and site-specific training.
General education is the initial online WHMIS course workers receive when they are hired or assigned to work with hazardous materials for the first time. This training provides workers with a basic understanding of WHMIS, including the hazard classes and categories, the information on labels and safety data sheets (SDSs), and the proper handling and storage of hazardous materials.
Site-specific training is the second part of WHMIS training and is specific to the materials and procedures used in a particular workplace. This training covers the specific hazards associated with the materials used in the workplace, the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and emergency response procedures in case of a spill or exposure.
Employers are responsible for providing WHMIS training to their workers. They must ensure that the training is appropriate and effective for the specific workplace and the materials used. Workers must also receive refresher training periodically to ensure that their knowledge is up-to-date and that they are aware of any changes to the WHMIS system or the materials used in the workplace.
What are the 4 components of WHMIS?
The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) has four components:
Hazard classification: This component involves the determination of the hazardous properties of materials, including their physical, health, and environmental hazards.
Labels: Hazardous materials must be labelled with WHMIS-specific labels that indicate the product's identity, its hazards, and the precautions to be taken when handling it.
Safety data sheets (SDSs): Suppliers must provide SDSs that contain information about the hazards of the product, safe handling procedures, emergency procedures, and other important information.
Education and training: Workers must be educated and trained on the hazards associated with the materials they work with and the precautions that must be taken when handling them, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
What is WHMIS called now?
The revised version of WHMIS is known as "WHMIS 2015," while the old version is now known as "WHMIS 1988."
Why did GHS replace WHMIS? Mentioned the source:
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, sometimes known as GHS, is a hazard communication system used globally. It did not replace WHMIS but alienated it to offer a safer work environment to the employees.
What is the newest version of WHMIS?
WHMIS 2015 is the newest version of WHMIS.
What are the components of WHMIS 2015?
Here are the main components of WHMIS
- Hazard categorization
- Warning container labelling
- Distribution of safety data sheets (SDSs
- Worker education and training programs
WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is a system developed in Canada to provide information on hazardous materials in the workplace. It is essential to ensure the safety of workers handling these materials.
The importance of WHMIS training cannot be overstated. By providing accurate and up-to-date information on the hazards associated with these materials, WHMIS helps prevent workplace accidents and injuries.
It is essential for employers to ensure that their workers are trained on the proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials and to stay up-to-date with any changes to the WHMIS system. With the proper education and onsite or online safety training, employers can create a safer workplace and protect their workers from harm.