WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is a comprehensive plan for providing information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in Canadian workplaces.
This course will explain the key aspects of WHMIS, how it is used in the workplace, and steps workers can take to to reduce or eliminate the risks associated with working with hazardous materials. The overall purpose of WHMIS is to help ensure a safer, healthier workplace for everyone.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) was created in 1988 to address the rights of Canadian workers to know about the health and safety hazards associated with chemicals and other hazardous materials that they use or may come in contact with in the workplace. Exposure to hazardous materials can cause or contribute to many serious health effects such as effects on the nervous system, kidney or lung damage, sterility, cancer, burns or rashes. Some hazardous materials are physical hazards and can cause physical damage like fires or explosions.
Under WHMIS, workers have the right to receive education and training about each hazardous product they use, handle or store. The goal of WHMIS is to reduce injury, disease and exposure to hazardous materials through education and training.
WHMIS is a law and is regulated by the BC Workers' Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. WHMIS legislation regulates controlled products, chemicals, materials and substances.
WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015
WHMIS has recently been updated to WHMIS 2015. It was updated to reflect elements of a new initiative called the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The goal of GHS to ensure the same set of rules for classifying hazardous products, and the same format and content for labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), will be adopted and used around the world.
Key changes from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015:
Suppliers, employers and workers all have responsibilities to uphold under WHMIS regulations
1) Supplier Responsibilities
2) Employer Responsibilities
3) Worker Responsibilities
Worker's rights under the BC Workers Compensation Act
In addition to WHMIS, worker's rights include: