Employer obligations relating to hazardous products in Ontario workplaces, including worker training, are in transition.
Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, commonly known as WHMIS, is designed to provide workers with information about hazardous products used, stored, handled or disposed of in the workplace. Changes to federal WHMIS-related law
, and supporting provincial and territorial regulation, are altering the way this information is delivered.*
To help workplace parties understand these significant changes, the WHSC has developed a range of information and training resources including a newly-released poster entitled Globally-Harmonized WHMIS: Understanding Your Right to Know
The purpose of globally-harmonized (GHS) WHMIS is to standardize, on a global scale
, the hazardous product communication system. Examples of changes include:
new hazard classification rules and hazard classes,
safety data sheets (SDSs—16 section format) replacing MSDSs (9 section format),
new content requirements on labels including standard signal words (warning or danger), pictograms and both a hazard and precautionary statement,
pictograms replacing hazard symbols, and
new SDS and label updating requirements.
With these changes, employers will still be legally required to
ensure hazardous materials are properly labeled,
ensure safety data sheets (SDSs) are current and accessible to workers,
ensure worker health and safety is protected, and
provide workers with general and workplace-specific training relating to hazardous materials.
The new poster is designed to help workplace parties understand the transition from original WHMIS to GHS WHMIS, including when WHMIS or WHMIS refresher training is required. In terms of training obligations here in Ontario, the law requires that training result in workers being able to use the information to protect their health and safety
[s. 7(3), WHMIS Regulation].
In response, the WHSC now offers an e-learning program entitled Globally-harmonized WHMIS. Intended for those previously trained in WHMIS
, this program offers a comparative overview of original WHMIS and new information and communication requirements after GHS harmonization.
Register today for WHSC’s Globally-Harmonized WHMIS e-Class.
The WHSC will also soon release an in-class GHS WHMIS training program.
Want to download WHMIS posters?
If original WHMIS labels and MSDSs are still used in your workplace along with new labels and SDSs, both the original WHMIS poster and the new Globally-Harmonized WHMIS poster should be posted.
Understanding Your Right to Know & WHMIS
Globally-Harmonized WHMIS: Understanding Your Right to Know
Want to download additional WHSC-developed GHS WHMIS resources?
Globally-harmonized WHMIS e-training product sheet
Transitioning to Globally-harmonized WHMIS: An Overview
Globally-harmonized WHMIS wallet card
Want additional information
about Globally-harmonized WHMIS
training or how the WHSC can help your workplace comply with other training obligations mandated by health and safety law?
Call: 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training service representative
*Note: The government has not yet changed related laws here in Ontario. The changes and the compliance transition period, however, are expected to follow that established by the federal government.