Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
WHMIS - Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information (WHMIS)
Notice: The National Office of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) has issued this alert related to the aggressive and misleading tactics being used by some commercial providers of WHMIS training products.
If you believe that a company has misrepresented their affiliation with the Occupational Health and Safety Division and/or mislead you as to your obligations as an employer under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996, you are encouraged to report your concern to the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Council of Better Business, or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.
WHMIS stands for the "Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System". It is a system of resources designed to reduce the risk from hazardous products in the workplace. It is governed by both Federal and Provincial Laws. Federal law (The Hazardous Products Act and The Controlled Products Regulations administered by Health Canada) require suppliers (including distributors and importers) to provide labels and material and safety data sheets (MSDS) with the WHMIS controlled products (substances that meet hazard criteria described in the above regulations) they sell to Canadian workplaces. The Health Canada WHMIS web site is designed to help suppliers meet their obligations under the federal law.
The Hazardous Products Act allows suppliers and employers to obtain an exemption to maintain the confidentiality of certain trade secret information (e.g. name of an ingredient or it's concentration). In such cases, an application must be made to the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission (613) 993-4331 to be granted an exemption.
In Saskatchewan, WHMIS requirements (Part XXII of The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996) place the responsibility on employers to ensure the health and safety of their workers who may be exposed to WHMIS controlled products. Employers must ensure their workers know about hazards of controlled products through a training program (see WHMIS Worker Training Requirements), product labeling, and readily accessible material safety data sheets (MSDS).
The Occupational Health and Safety Division publication,"WHMIS Controlled Products", helps employers and workers recognize controlled products. Products that burn readily, explode, produce toxic reactions, allergies, infectious diseases or dangerous reactions are likely to be controlled products. WHMIS classifications for many workplace chemicals can now be viewed on the internet.
WHMIS classifications for many workplace chemicals can now be searched on the internet using etools developed by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), and by the Toxicological Index Service of Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST). These etools allow users to easily search for the WHMIS classification of a chemical. This will make it easier for workplaces to verify the accuracy of WHMIS labels and MSDS. See Related LINKS below.
For a full list of WHMIS Publications and Videos see Related Documents and Related Links below.