The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, commonly referred to as WHMIS, is a Canada wide system that helps establish uniform requirements that ensures employers train and give their employees correct information about the hazards found in the workplace. The System also provides information about the standard classification criteria that is needed for products that are sold in, produced, imported, or used in workplaces throughout Canada.
Compliant with the workers “right to know”, WHMIS requires certain responsibilities for suppliers, employers and the workers themselves. Under WHMIS, Suppliers that are importing a product into Canada which is considered to be a controlled product under the WHMIS legislation, must ensure that they label the product or container, and provide the correct (M)SDS to the customers. The (M)SDSs that are given must explain what the exact hazards are in the product. Employers have the responsibility to educate and train their employees about the hazards found in their workplace. Employers must also ensure that products are correctly labelled and all (M)SDSs are available for workers.
WHMIS allows employers to have an additional tool, which gives both suppliers and employer’s responsibilities, while workers are responsible to join the training programs and execute what they have learned when they are working with hazardous materials. Workers are also expected to immediately inform their employers when the labels on the hazardous materials containers cannot be read or are removed.
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