WHMIS Supplier Label: One of 2 main label types used to communicate and/or alert Canadian workers about any significant hazardous potential related to workplace product use. WHMIS supplier labels safeguard workers from hazards related to chemical products by outlining the needed precautionary measures and safety procedures to be taken when handling these products. As indicated by the name, the supplier (manufacturer/distributor) takes responsibility for properly classifying hazardous products as well as providing their labels and SDS’s. WHMIS supplier labels are attached to any hazardous products received in the Canadian workplace and need not be changed within the products life-span given retainment of its durability, legibility and up-to-date and accurate information. Canada is a bilingual, English-French speaking country, therefore requiring supplier labels to provide any written information in both English and French; either on one label or on two separate, identical versions of the same label. WHMIS 2015’s adoption of GHS, standardizes the WHMIS supplier label requirements to include:
- Product Identifier – either the brand name, chemical name, common name, generic name or trade name of the hazardous product, identical to that listed on the SDS
- Initial Supplier Identifier – name, address, and telephone # of the first (Canadian) point of contact; this can include the Canadian- manufacturer, importer, or distributor of hazard products to be received in Canadian workplaces
- Hazard Pictograms – use of black symbol on white background, framed by a red-coloured diamond. Most of the pictograms to be used on WHMIS supplier labels are GHS-prescribed; assignment of certain pictograms to specific hazard classes and categories, efficiently convey related health or physical information using symbolism. The pictograms for WHMIS specific hazard classes not covered in GHS, can be found in Schedule 5 of Canada’s HPR.
- Signal Word – either use of the word ‘Danger’ to indicate more severe hazards, or ‘Warning’ to indicate less severe hazards. Usage of signal words contributes to adequately communicating to users, the hazardous potential of a product.
- Hazard Statement(s) – standardized phrases describing the mode of hazardous action that a hazardous product may present.
- Precautionary Statement(s) – prescribed descriptors of recommended measures one should take to minimize or prevent workplace injury and illness relating to accidental exposure top-or misuse of- hazardous products. Suppliers cannot pick and choose which specific statements they’d like included; all precautionary statements prescribed to a hazard class and its subsequent categories are to be used. 7.
- Supplementary Information – the addition of other related information on the label, particularly when it has significant implications on a products hazard classification and safety measures. For example, a specific statement is required for mixtures containing ingredients with unknown acute toxicity.
It should be noted that the label requirements outlined in WHMIS 1988 differ from those presented in WHMIS 2015. The hatched border requirement and MSDS referencing statement are no longer necessary and the required informational elements should are standardized to align with GHS; Inclusion of signal words, hazard statements, and hazard pictograms all constitute the additional WHMIS supplier label requirements.