Person dressed in safety gear while handling bottles of chemicals

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's national hazard communication standard. The goal of WHMIS is to ensure that the hazards of all controlled products are properly classified and that information on these hazards is available to workers. WHMIS 2015 aligns with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

The Hazardous Products Act (HPA) requires suppliers of hazardous products to communicate the health hazards associated with their products via product labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) as a condition of sale and importation for workplace use. Workplaces must have SDSs for all controlled products in their possession, and must ensure that this health and safety information is readily accessible to workers. Workplaces are also legally required to provide WHMIS training to workers on how to work safely with controlled products, including how to read and understand SDSs.

The Many Benefits Of WHMIS

safety signs

The WHMIS provides the essential information that workers need for their occupational health and safety by offering:

  • A comprehensive hazard classification criteria which improves ability to indicate the severity of hazards
  • A introduction of the three hazard classes
  • Physical hazard criteria are consistent with the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations
  • Standardized material safety data sheet format

What Is The Purpose Of WHMIS?

Person wearing safety glasses, gloves and a mask around bottles of chemicals

The purpose of WHMIS is to ensure that all workers are properly trained in handling workplace hazardous materials. And in order to be properly trained, workers must be familiar with the three different classifications for hazardous materials: Class A, Class B, and Class C. 

Class A

Class A materials are the most dangerous and require the highest level of training. Class A includes substances such as corrosives, explosives, and flammables.

Class B

Class B materials are moderately dangerous, yet still require training before handling because they still pose significant risks. Class B includes substances such as poisons, caustics, and combustibles.

Class C

Class C materials are the least dangerous but can still cause harm if not handled properly. Class C includes substances such as toxics, irritants, and radioactives. 

All workers who come into contact with any type of hazardous product must receive WHMIS training. This training can be provided by the employer or by a certified instructor. After successfully completing the training, workers will be issued a certificate that must be renewed every three years.

Put Workplace Health and Safety First With the Help of Canada Safety Training

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At Canada Safety Training, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve an incident-free work environment. We do this by providing high-quality safety training that meets all applicable safety standards. Our online safety training courses cover a wide range of topics, from hazard identification training and fall protection courses to incident investigation training and WHMIS training certificates.  

Whether you're looking for general safety training for your employees or need specialized training for a specific industry, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our safety training services.