A comprehensive framework of information and procedures that serves to guide and protect the health and safety of workers in the workplace. The initial WHMIS Canada legislature came into full effect in 1988, providing to workers the education and training needed to safely handle, store, and dispose of hazardous products and chemicals in the workplace. WHMIS Canada legislation is federally implemented on a national level and judicially coordinated at the provincial and territorial level. WHMIS Canada mandates its supplier requirements within these specific federal acts and regulations:
- Hazardous Products Act (HPA)
- Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR)
- Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA)
- Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations (HMIRR)
- Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) – references WHMIS 1988, but is now repealed
Employers are legally obliged to ensure that their employees have had adequate WHMIS training. Employees, on the other hand, are expected to take this training and apply what they have learned each and every time they step foot in the workplace. The HPA and HPR work in conjunction with one another to provide an in-depth breakdown of hazardous product identification and classification procedures, to expand upon the contingencies of (M)SDS and label requirements, and to adequately educate and train employees about safe practices in the workplace. The educational aspect of WHMIS fosters an individual’s knowledge on the key informational elements of chemical labels and SDS’s; this includes background knowledge on WHMIS, the various hazard classes and symbols associated with hazardous products, and the various sections included in the (M)SDS. The training portion of WHMIS ensures that workers are well-equipped to apply their knowledge when confronted with dangerous workplace hazards. Completion of WHMIS Canada training provides the employee with preparative tools such that they can safely use, store, handle, and dispose of hazardous products in their workplace.
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