WHMIS – Education and Training (2023)

Important information

Kanada hat das Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) an das Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) angeglichen.

This document discusses the WHMIS supplier requirements under federal law - the Hazardous Products Act and the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). This document reflects the legal requirements for dangerous goods as of December 15, 2022. The changes introduced in December 2022 are now in effect. Suppliers have a three-year transition period (until December 15, 2025) to align product classification, safety data sheets and labeling with the revised requirements.

For most workplaces, the changes in combustible gas categories and new pressurized chemical categories will be the most noticeable impacts.

Health Canada is the government agency responsible for all provider-related WHMIS legislation. WHMIS is also regulated in the workplace by the provincial, territorial, and federal governments (for federally regulated workplaces) under their occupational health and safety laws.The province or territory determines the educational and training requirements of the WHMIS.While the WHMIS regulations in these jurisdictions are based on a common model, there may be minor differences between jurisdictions.

(Video) WHMIS part 1

Suppliers and employers must use and comply with WHMIS labeling and Material Safety Data Sheet (SDS) requirements for hazardous products sold, distributed or imported into Canada.

For more information on WHMIS, see the following Occupational Health and Safety response documents:

  • WHMIS - general
  • WHMIS - Pictograms
  • WHMIS—Labels
  • WHMIS – Hazard Classes and Categories
  • WHMIS – Material Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
  • WHMIS – WHMIS-Programm
  • WHMIS – Glossar
  • WHMIS – Confidential Business Information (CBI)
  • WHMIS - Differences
  • WHMIS - Labor

Is there a difference between WHMIS training and WHMIS training?

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Yes. Education and training can be viewed as two separate components.

  • raiseRefers to general or portable information, e.g. B. How WHMIS works and the dangers of the product. For example, you will learn about hazard classes (e.g. why a product is called a corrosive product and what information you can find on labels and safety data sheets).
  • ZugRefers to site- and workplace-specific information about procedures for storage, handling, use, disposal, emergencies, spills, and what to do in other situations at your workplace.

Who should receive this education and training?

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In Canada, any workplace where hazardous products are present must have a WHMIS plan. Workers must be educated and trained to understand the hazards and how to use hazardous products safely.

All workers whose work involves or who may be exposed to dangerous products must be informed about the dangers of these products. Hazard information should include information from suppliers and any other information known to the employer about the use, storage and handling of each product.


For example, such training must be offered to all workers who:

  • Potential exposure to hazardous products due to their work activities, including normal use, maintenance activities, or emergency situations.
  • Use, store, handle or dispose of hazardous products.
  • Supervise or direct workers who may come into contact with, use, store, handle or dispose of hazardous products.
  • Participate in emergency response.

Which topics should be covered?

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Examples of topics that should be covered during education and training are:

  • Information on supplier labels and workplace labels and what this information means.
  • Information on the safety data sheet (SDS) and what it means.
  • Procedures required for the safe use, handling and disposal of hazardous products.
  • Any other required procedures while the product is in pipes, piping systems, vessels, tankers, etc.
  • Procedures to be followed when hazardous products could be present in the air and workers could be exposed to hazardous products.
  • All procedures to be followed in emergency situations involving hazardous products.

What obligations does the employer have?

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All Canadian jurisdictions require employers to develop, implement and maintain a WHMIS employee education and training program. Workers who use or may be exposed to hazardous products in the workplace must receive product-specific training.

It is the employer's responsibility to provide any hazard information that may have come from the supplier or is based on information that the employer knows or should have known.

Employers should also consult the Health and Safety Committee (or a representative) when developing, implementing or reviewing education and training programs.

(Video) Online WHMIS Training | OnlineWHMIS ca™

In addition, employers should review their entire WHMIS education and training program at least annually, or more frequently when working conditions, processes, or hazard information change. This review should be conducted in consultation with the Health and Safety Committee or a representative. Confirm these details with your local jurisdiction.

As an employer, how often do I need to do refresher training?

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Continuous education and training is usually required in:

  • Protect the health and safety of workers as needed.
  • When workplace conditions change.
  • When a new product comes onto the market.
  • When changing products, there are other dangers.
  • When new hazard information becomes available.
  • When new information on safe use, handling, storage or disposal becomes available.

Some provinces or territories may require employers to periodically test workers' proficiency through written tests, hands-on demonstrations, or other means. Confirm this information again with the relevant local jurisdiction.

What obligations do employees have?

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Workers must attend training and education and follow safe work practices established by their employers.

I am a worker. Do I have to repeat the WHMIS training if I change employers?

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The decision lies with the employer. The general or “generic” parts of your WHMIS training (e.g. how WHMIS works, hazard levels, etc.) apply to all workplaces. However, every workplace is different and the likelihood of being exposed to hazardous products varies. Employers must ensure employees receive training that is specific to the job and the job you will be doing. Employers may choose to renew their general WHMIS training at the same time.

(Video) WHMIS 2015 for Workers

In short: What does successful training and further education look like?

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Workers should be able to answer the following questions for each hazardous product they use:

  • What dangers does the product pose?
  • How can I protect myself from these dangers?
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Where can I get more information?

Who should provide education and training?

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Legislation establishes education and training obligations for employers and establishes minimum requirements for education and training. This training and further education can be carried out by the employer or by qualified or competent persons or institutions of the choice of the employer. Regardless of who provides education and training, employers still have a legal obligation to ensure worker protection.

Training providers are considered qualified or competent when they have an appropriate level of knowledge, skills and abilities in the subjects they offer. Providers should also be able to provide techniques and methodologies when delivering on-the-job training, particularly those applicable to adult learning.

The employer should confirm that the qualifications and skills of the training provider can meet the objectives of the training course and the needs of the trainees.

I am an employer and received a call from a training provider telling me that they are required by law to offer WHMIS training for a fee. They also noted that we currently do not comply with WHMIS. Are we obliged to follow their plans?

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Several jurisdictions have reported that outside firms have approached employers and used high-pressure sales tactics. Notices in these jurisdictions remind employers that they have choices when selecting external training providers. The aim is to provide education and training tailored to your needs, both general and workplace specific training information on hazardous products and processes used in the workplace.

(Video) WHMIS GHS Workplace Certificate Training

  • Data sheet last revision: 03/15/2023


What are the 3 main components of WHMIS? ›

The (three) 3 principal elements of WHMIS that are used to provide information to employers and workers are Labels, Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), and Worker Education programs.

What is the correct order of elements in the WHMIS classification system answer? ›

The main components of WHMIS are hazard identification and product classification, labelling, safety data sheets, and worker education and training.

Does the WHMIS certificate expire? ›

How long is a WHMIS certificate good for? Although there is no expiry date to the certificate, it is recommended to complete WHMIS training on an annual basis. The frequency of update and review should be determined by your employer in consultation with your health and safety committee.

What does WHMIS mean in training? ›

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

What are the 6 classes of WHMIS? ›

There are six (6) classes of controlled products (WHMIS Hazard Classes) and include:
  • Compressed Gas.
  • Flammable and Combustible Material.
  • Poisonous and Infectious Material.
  • Corrosive Material.
  • Dangerously Reactive Material.

What are the 4 hazard categories? ›

There are four types of hazards: chemical, biological, ergonomic, and physical hazards. Collect and review information about hazards and potential hazards in the workplace. Conduct initial and periodic workplace assessments to identify hazards.

What are the 4 important questions answered by SDS? ›

SDSs tell users what the hazards of the product are, how to use the product safely, what to expect if the recommendations are not followed, how to recognize symptoms of exposure, and what to do if emergencies occur.

Which of the 4 hazard categories is most hazardous? ›

Category 1 is always the greatest level of hazard within its class. – If Category 1 is further divided, Category 1A within the same hazard class is a greater hazard than category 1B. Category 2 within the same hazard class is more hazardous than Category 3, and so on. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

What are the 3 dimensions of hazard classification? ›

GHS uses three hazard classes: Health Hazards, Physical Hazards and Environmental Hazards.

How do I get a WHMIS certificate? ›

A WHMIS certificate is a document issued after you've taken a WHMIS training course. The training may be provided through your employer or a training company. WHMIS certificates are issued by employers or the training company who provided the instruction and not through Health Canada or any other government.

How often is WHMIS required? ›

Therefore, the recommended period for WHMIS training is at least once a year. Additionally, new employees should complete a WHMIS course, and the employer must ensure everyone has it. Furthermore, individuals or self-employed professionals can also take the course.

What are the two major hazard groups used to classify WHMIS hazards? ›

WHMIS applies to two major groups of hazards: physical, and health. Each hazard group includes hazard classes that have specific hazardous properties.

How many classes are there for WHMIS? ›

WHMIS covers six classes of controlled products, which are divided into eight symbols.

What is WHMIS certification called? ›

WHMIS stands for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. WHMIS is a comprehensive Canadian hazard communication system that provides health and safety information on hazardous products in Canadian workplaces. Workers that use or could be exposed to these products need to be educated and trained on WHMIS.

What is an example of WHMIS? ›

Common examples include: compressed air, carbon dioxide, propane, oxygen, ethylene oxide, and welding gases. The hazard symbol is a picture of a cylinder or container of compressed gas surrounded by a circle. Additional dangers may be present if the gas has other hazardous properties.

What is the main purpose of WHMIS? ›

Originally established in 1988, the purpose of WHMIS is to ensure employers and workers receive consistent and comprehensive health and safety information about the hazardous products they may be exposed to at work.

What are the 8 safety symbols? ›

GB CLP hazard pictograms
  • Explosive (Symbol: exploding bomb)
  • Flammable (Symbol: flame)
  • Oxidising (Symbol: flame over circle)
  • Corrosive (Symbol: corrosion)
  • Acute toxicity (Symbol: skull and crossbones)
  • Hazardous to the environment (Symbol: environment)
  • Health hazard/Hazardous to the ozone layer (Symbol: exclamation mark)
Feb 11, 2022

What are the 4 P's of hazard risk? ›

One practical application is the “Four Ps”: prejob, process, public, and programs. Each area consists of a set of challenges and opportunities that every lone worker will encounter. The Four Ps are used to evaluate a lone worker's current situation at key points during the task or when an emergency arises.

What are the 5 physical hazards? ›

There are five main classes of physical hazard namely Explosive, Flammable, Oxidising, Gases under Pressure and Corrosive to metals.

What 4 items are found on SDS? ›

The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.

What are the 2 most important sections in SDS? ›

Section 1 – Identification identifies the chemical on the SDS as well as the recommended uses. It also provides the essential contact information of the supplier. Section 2 – Hazard(s) identification includes the hazards of the chemical and the appropriate warning information associated with those hazards.

What are the 5 elements that are included in each SDS? ›

These are the Five elements of the Hazard Communication Standard. They are: Chemical Inventory, Written Program, Labels, Material Safety Data Sheets, and Training. The first element of the Hazard Communication Standard is for employers to develop inventories of all the hazardous chemicals they have at their worksite.

What are the four 4 characteristic of hazardous? ›

EPA's regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) define four hazardous waste characteristic properties: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity (see 40 CFR 261.21- 261.24).

What are the 3 divisions of hazard class 4? ›

Subsets of class 4 are:
  • Flammable solids.
  • Self reactive substances.
  • Solid desensitized explosives.

What is a Category 3 health hazard? ›

Risk level 3: Materials extremely hazardous to health, but areas may be entered with extreme care. Full protective clothing including self-contained breathing apparatus, coat, pants, gloves, and boots, with bands around the legs, arms, and waist should be provided. No skin surface should be exposed.

What are the 3 unique components of hazard? ›

Hazard has three basic components: hazard element (HE), initiating mechanism (IM), target and threat (T/T) [10].

What are the three 3 modes of hazards? ›

Hazards are sometimes classified into three modes or statuses:
  • Dormant—The situation environment is currently affected. ...
  • Armed—People, property, or environment are in potential harm's way.
  • Active—A harmful incident involving the hazard has actually occurred.
Oct 26, 2022

What are the 3 modes or status of hazard? ›

A hazard can be classified in three modes: Dormant: When a situation represents the possibility of a hazard but people, property, and/or the environment have not yet been affected. Armed: Potential harm for people, property, or environment. Active: When the hazard situation occurs and develops.

Is there a WHMIS test? ›

After completing the WHMIS course and learning the material you'll need to know, you will need to take and pass the WHMIS test or exam . However, there are quite a few things you should consider about how a provider allows you to do this before choosing a company with which to work.

What are the two types of WHMIS? ›

There are two main types of WHMIS labels: supplier labels, and workplace labels. Suppliers of hazardous products are required to apply a label that meets the requirements of the Hazardous Products Regulations. If the hazardous product is always used in the container with the supplier label, no other label is required.

Who provides WHMIS? ›

WHMIS.org is provided through the collaboration of Health Canada, the regulatory jurisdictions across Canada, and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

What are two types of hazards? ›

Hazardous products are divided into two hazard groups: physical hazards and health hazards.

How many safety data sheets are there in WHMIS? ›

Safety data sheets (SDSs) are documents that provide information about hazardous products and advice about safety precautions. SDSs provide more information about products than labels do. This toolbox meeting guide lists the 16 sections of an SDS and discusses how and when workers should use SDSs.

Where are WHMIS labels required? ›

There are two main types of WHMIS labels: supplier labels and workplace labels. A supplier label is provided for each hazardous product by the supplier. Supplier labels will appear on all hazardous products received at a workplace in Canada.

How many signal words are there? ›

There are only two words used as signal words, “Danger” and “Warning.” Within a specific hazard class, “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards and “Warning” is used for the less severe hazards. There will only be one signal word on the label no matter how many hazards a chemical may have.

What are the two signal words used in GHS? ›

Signal word – There are two signal words used by the GHS – Danger and Warning. These signal words are used to communicate the level of hazard on both the label and the SDS.

What is the symbol for flammable? ›

Flame. The flame symbol alerts users that a chemical is flammable.

What is the most serious hazard effect? ›

Acute Toxicity

Hazard Statements: Fatal, toxic, harmful. Fatal is more serious than toxic. Toxic is more serious than harmful.

What is a dangerously reactive material? ›

Dangerously Reactive Materials are unstable or highly reactive materials that can undergo extremely hazardous uncontrolled reactions. They can cause explosions, fires or extreme heating, with potential for significant personal injury and property damage.

What is the symbol for harmful or fatal? ›

Skull & Crossbones (Can cause death or toxicity with short exposure to small amounts) This symbol has long been associated with death and it is used in materials labelling to warn you that the relevant product has potential to be fatal, toxic, or extremely harmful even with a limited exposure.

What is the equivalent of WHMIS in the US? ›

WHMIS closely parallels the U.S. OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

What are the 5 elements of the WHMIS? ›

What are the main parts of WHMIS? The main components of WHMIS are hazard identification and product classification, labelling, safety data sheets, and worker education and training.

What 3 products are exempt from WHMIS? ›

Exemptions to WHMIS include:
  • An explosive within the meaning of the Explosives Act (Canada)
  • A cosmetic, device, drug or food within the meaning of the Food and Drugs Act (Canada)
  • A pest control product within the meaning of the Pest Control Products Act (Canada)

What is not covered by WHMIS? ›

Exemptions from WHMIS Legislation

Explosives (as defined in the Explosives Act) Cosmetics, devices, drugs or foods (as defined in the Food and Drugs Act) Pest control products (as defined in the Pest Control Products Act) Consumer products (as defined in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act)

What does WHMIS consist of? ›

WHMIS is a hazard communication system outlining the health and safety information about the hazardous chemicals using product labels, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and worker education and training.

What are the three 3 hazard classifications? ›

GHS consists of three major hazard groups :
  • Physical hazards.
  • Health hazards.
  • Environmental hazards.

What are the three components of hazard analysis? ›

Risk Analysis: A process consisting of three components: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. Risk Assessment: A scientifically based process consisting of the following steps: (i) hazard identification, (ii) hazard characterization, (iii) exposure assessment, and (iv) risk characterization.

What are the 3 main routes of entry? ›

Inhalation (breathing) Skin (or eye) contact. Swallowing (ingestion or eating)

What are the 3 different types of WHMIS 1988 labels? ›

Are there different types of labels? Yes. A WHMIS label can be a mark, sign, stamp, sticker, seal , ticket, tag or wrapper. It can be attached, imprinted, stencilled or embossed on the controlled product or its container.

What are the five 5 hazard categories? ›

Types of Hazard
  • 1) Safety hazards. Safety hazards can affect any employee, but these are more likely to affect those who work with machinery or on a construction site. ...
  • 2) Biological hazards. Biological hazards are extremely dangerous. ...
  • 3) Physical hazards. ...
  • 4) Ergonomic hazards. ...
  • 5) Chemical hazards. ...
  • 6) Workload hazards.
Aug 8, 2019

What are the 5 classification of safety hazard? ›

There are many types of hazards - chemical, ergonomic, physical, and psychosocial, to name a few - which can cause harm or adverse effects in the workplace. Get resources on specific hazards and their control, including identification, risk assessment and inspections, to keep your workplace healthy and safe.

What are the 3 critical elements of safety? ›

OSHA believes a safety and health program must have the three basic elements of management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards to be effective.

What does GHS stand for? ›

Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Policy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

What are the four methods of exposure? ›

Routes of Exposure

There are four routes by which a substance can enter the body: inhalation, skin (or eye) absorption, ingestion, and injection.

What are the 2 main types of WHMIS hazards? ›

Hazardous products are divided into two hazard groups: physical hazards and health hazards.

What are the 2 classifications of WHMIS? ›

WHMIS applies to two major groups of hazards: physical, and health.

What does the O stand for in a pictogram? ›

The symbol within the pictogram shows an “o” with flames on top of it and a line underneath it. The “o” is for oxygen and the flames indicate that hazardous products with this pictogram present a fire or explosion hazard if they are not stored and handled properly.


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