WHIMIS What You Need To Know As A Plant Manager

If you are a plant manager, you need to be very familiar with the latest WHMIS regulations. Create a safer workplace for your employees by signing up for WHMIS training today.


Sign Up for WHMIS Training from Wayco Today

Wayco offers WHMIS training for you and your employees at our Kitchener facility at 30 Adam Ferrie Place, Kitchener, ON. Our highly trained instructors will teach you everything you need to know about WHMIS so you and your staff can work safely. Contact us today to sign up.



What Is WHMIS?

WHMIS stands for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is a "comprehensive national system for safe management of hazardous chemicals" and is legislated by three levels of government: federal, provincial, and territorial.

WHMIS is a Canada-wide law that was made to ensure that chemicals and hazardous substances are safely handled in the workplace. The law deals with 3 basic parts:

  • Labelling

  • Material Safety Data Sheets

  • Worker Education and Training


The History of WHMIS

In some workplaces, employees are exposed to flammable, toxic, and other harmful or deadly substances. Sometimes these products are not properly labeled.

Younger workers are especially at risk of being harmed by these hazardous substances if they are working with them without proper supervision, experience, and training.

WHMIS was instated to help protect workers by ensuring that these harmful substances are all labeled correctly and that workers are trained in the proper ways of handling dangerous substances.

WHMIS is quite unique in that it is a combined effort where a consensus was reached by labour, industry, and government stakeholders.

It makes sure that Canadian workers have easy access to health and safety information that relates to hazardous products that are used in the workplace.

hazardous materials.jpg

WHMIS makes sure that Canadian workers have easy access to health and safety information relating to hazardous products


Under WHMIS, workers:

  • Have the right to be informed about any hazardous products that they might come in contact with in their workplace

  • Can use this information to prevent any injuries or dangerous outcomes that might happen because of these hazardous products

  • Will hopefully have a reduction in injuries and diseases related to hazardous materials found in the workplace.


Most Recent Updates to WHMIS Came in 2015

WHMIS began in 1988, but was updated in 2015. The 2015 updates now reflect the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) that was developed by the United Nations .


This symbol indicates that there is a hazardous substance


Main Updates from WHMIS 2015

More Comprehensive Hazard Classification Criteria

In WHMIS 2015, hazardous products are now divided into two major groups: health hazards and physical hazards.

These two groups are then divided again into different classes of hazards. Some of the classes are further divided into subcategories.

Each class has its own pictogram that represents the hazards in that class. Each pictogram is recognizable by its red, diamond shaped border.


Pictogram for flammable substances


New WHMIS Supplier Label Requirements

The labels placed on hazardous products play a very important part in helping workers identify hazards associated with the products, and what precautionary measures they need to take when handling them.

WHMIS 2015 has standardized the wording of hazards and labeling order so that both follow a certain format.

This means that when your workers see one of these standardized labels, they will be easily able to recognize what it means.

All flammable and other potentially dangerous substances have to have proper labels on them.


Pictogram warning that the substance is corrosive


Safety Data Sheets Are Now Standardized

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) have also been standardized under WHMIS 2015. SDSs give detailed information about hazards and the precautionary measures your workers need to take for hazardous products in the workplace.

SDSs now have to follow a standardized 16-section format with specific information requirements and standardized language.

They need to cover proper handling and protection against overexposure, the health effects of overexposure, and emergency procedures. These sheets must appear on each hazardous substance in your workplace and be available for your workers.


This pictogram lets workers know that there are gas bottles inside


WHMIS Education and Training Programs

Under WHMIS regulations, employers must educate and train their workers on how to work with and around hazardous products.

This means that as a plant manager, you need to make sure that your employees are aware of how WHMIS functions, what the hazards of the products they encounter in the workplace are, and the safe work procedures that they need to follow.

At a local level, you need to provide training for your employees so that they know how to access and understand SDSs. This training must take place before your employees handle any hazardous substances.

Not only do you need to train your employees who will come in contact with hazardous materials, whether they are moving them with forklift equipment or lifting them by hand, but you also need to train those who are even somewhat likely to be exposed to these hazards during work.


Toxic substances should carry this pictogram on their label


Additional Requirements from WHMIS 2015

In addition to the above guidelines, WHMIS 2015 also requires that physical hazard criteria are aligned with the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations .


Get the Proper WHMIS Training for Your Employees

As a plant manager you are required to provide proper WHMIS training for all of your employees. Wayco can provide this training for you. Our instructors are fully qualified to give WHMIS training to your employees. Book your session today with Wayco.


The above symbol means that the substance can oxidize


Wayco Is Committed to Workplace Safety

Wayco believes that safety in the workplace is very important and that is why we also offer the best forklift safety training programs in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Our highly trained instructors will instruct your employees in the proper practices of operating forklift equipment safely. Contact us today to book your training sessions.