Ontario WHMIS laws were amended this summer to change the way hazardous product information is delivered to workers, including new training obligations.
These recent amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act
and WHMIS Regulation include incorporating elements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, commonly known as GHS. The purpose of GHS is to standardize, on a global scale, a hazardous product communication system.
Here in Ontario and across Canada, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
, commonly known as WHMIS, is the system used to provide workers with information about hazardous products used, stored, handled or disposed of in the workplace.
To assist workplaces seeking to better understand and comply
with the new WHMIS requirements, the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) now offers Globally Harmonized WHMIS training (both in-class and e-learning). These new training opportunities explore the many ways the GHS/WHMIS amendments alter the way hazardous product information is delivered at work. Examples of changes
- 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 and both a hazard and precautionary statement,
- pictograms replacing hazard symbols (and are required on SDSs and labels), and
- new SDS and label updating requirements.
The new WHMIS requirements came into effect on July 1, 2016. Though employers have been given a transition period
ending on December 1, 2018.
During this transition, employers must train workers in both systems
. The WHSC still offers original WHMIS training, along with GHS WHMIS training, to assist workplaces seeking to meet their legal training obligations.
GHS WHMIS can become the sole focus of worker training only when all products with the original WHMIS labels and MSDSs are no longer used
in the workplace.
An additional change in the WHMIS Regulation is also affecting who the employer must train. Prior to these amendments, employers were required to provide WHMIS training only to those “who work with or in proximity to” a hazardous product. Employers are now required to provide training to those “who work with or who may be exposed in the course of his or her work.” Many believe this broader standard will extend the training requirements
to many workers not previously covered.
Register today for WHSC’s Globally-Harmonized WHMIS e-Class.
Register today for WHSC’s Globally-Harmonized WHMIS.
Want to download WHMIS and GHS WHMIS posters? *
Understanding Your Right to Know & WHMIS
Globally-Harmonized WHMIS: Understanding Your Right to Know
|* 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.
Want to download additional GHS WHMIS resources?
Transitioning to Globally-harmonized WHMIS: An Overview
Globally-harmonized WHMIS wallet card
Want additional information
about Globally-Harmonized WHMIS or Original WHMIS training or want further clarification about the transition to GHS WHMIS?
Call: 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training service representative