This course will allow you to familiarize or re-familiarize yourself with WHMIS 2015.

WHMIS 2015 and GHS


What is WHMIS?

WHMIS is the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

The system has been around since 1988 and has proven to be one of the most effective awareness systems ever designed.

Soon WHMIS will become the GLOBAL HARMONIZED System of Classification and labelling of chemicals is proof of how well it has served to protect workers.

The 3 components of the WHMIS 2015 system are product labelling, safety data distribution and training.

What Does WHMIS stand for?

  • Workplace Hazardous Machine Information Software
  • Working Hazard Materials In Systems
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
  • Workplace Hazardous Machine Information System



Above you will see an image of a Supplier Label. It's purpose is generally to:

  • Informs workers of dangers
  • Offer precautions against exposure
  • Recommends first aid options

Above you will see an image of a workplace label.

When is a workplace label needed?

  • A controlled product is produced in the workplace
  • A controlled product is transferred from an original container to an unlabeled container
  • The supplier label cannot be read or is accidentally removed
  • All workers must know and understand label symbols on both the supplier labels and workplace labels.

WHMIS provides information to workers about hazardous materials through which of the following method(s)?

  • Supplier & Workplace labels
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Worker education & training
  • A & B
  • A, B & C

Supplier Label

Safety Data - Introduction

Safety Data - an MSDS Sheet

  • A material safety data sheet (MSDS) is a technical document or bulletin that summarizes the health and safety information available about a controlled product.The MSDS does NOT include all the information needed to handle a product safely. The way the product is used can vary from one location to another and the supplier is not expected to anticipate every protective measure for every workplace the product is sold. The employer, through the worker education program, is expected to tailor the supplier's information to the conditions of the workplace.
  • Where can you find MSDS sheets at Calypso/Valcartier?
    • You will find them in areas where workers are likely to come into contact with controlled products ex. the shop, tech stations, kitchens, maintenance storage, etc.

Sections of the MSDS

  • The MSDS must have the following 9 sections:
    1. Product Information
    2. Hazardous Ingredients 
    3. Physical Data
    4. Fire or Explosion Hazard
    5. Reactivity Data
    6. Toxicological Properties
    7. Preventive Measures
    8. First Aid Measures
    9. Preparation Information

Hazardous Materials

  • All incoming hazardous material requires an MSDS Sheet
  • Every container must be identified before the contents can be used
  • Report any damaged or missing WHMIS labels to your supervisor
  • If you are not sure what the product does, do not use it

State of things...

  • There are 3 forms hazardous substances can come in:
    • Solids - dusts, fine particles in the air, etc.
    • Gases, vapors & fumes
    • Liquids - mist - fine liquid particles in the air 

Routes of Entry

The routes of entry for chemical exposure are:

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Absorption
  • Injection

WHMIS Classes and Symbols

WHMIS Classes and Symbols

  • There are six classes with one class divided into three divisions. Therefore there are eight corresponding WHMIS symbols

Class A - Compressed Gas


  • Danger of explosion


  • Do not drop
  • Avoid Heat
  • Store in designated area

Class B - Combustible/Flammable


  • Potential fire hazard


  • Avoid even low heat
  • Do not smoke
  • Store in cool, fireproof area approved by supervisor

Class C - Oxidizing Material


  • Explosion or fire


  • Keep away from combustible materials such as wood and fuels
  • Keep away from sources of ignition
  • Wear protective equipment & clothing, including: eye, face and hand protection

Class D1 - Immediate and Serious Toxic Effects


  • May cause death or permanent damage if it enters the body in any way
  • May burn eyes or skin


  • Extreme caution
  • Wear protective equipment & clothing, including: eye, face and hand protection
  • Use in well-ventilated areas only
  • Wash and shower thoroughly after use
  • Store in designated area only

Class D2 - Materials Causing Other Toxic Effects


  • May cause death or permanent damage with multiple exposures over time
  • Skin or eye irritation
  • Chemical allergy
  • Cancer
  • Birth defects or sterility


  • Wear protective equipment & clothing, including: eye, face and hand protection
  • Use in well-ventilated areas only
  • Store in designated area only

Class D3 - Bio-hazardous Infectious Material


  • May cause a serious disease leading to illness or death


  • Extreme caution
  • Use proper protective equipment
  • Use in designated areas only with proper engineering controls

Class E - Corrosive Material


  • Severe skin and eye irritation upon contact
  • Serious tissue damage with prolonged contact 
  • Harmful if inhaled


  • Keep container tightly closed
  • Wear protective equipment & clothing, including: eye, face and hand protection
  • Use in well-ventilated area only

Class F - Dangerously Reactive


  • Very unstable
  • May react with water to release toxic or flammable gas
  • Container may explode if heated or dropped


  • Keep away from heat
  • Open carefully, do not drop
  • Store in cool, flameproof area approved by supervisor

Match the Symbols

  • Immediate and Serious Toxic Effects
  • Dangerously Reactive
  • Corrosive Material
  • Compressed Gas
  • Material Causing Other Toxic Effects
  • Bio-hazardous Infectious Material
  • Oxidizing Material
  • Combustible/Flammable

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Offers worker protection from workplace hazards:
    • Head (eyes and ears)
    • Body (arms, hands, and feet)
    • Respiratory system

PPE does not eliminate the hazard.

If it fails, exposure will occur.

PPE is most effective when:

  • The equipment is properly selected for the situation
  • Employees are trained in its use
  • The equipment is maintained
  • The equipment is used by employees



  • Recognize the hazardous material in your work area
  • Read the MSDS sheets - know where the binder is kept
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment for the hazard
  • Know where and who our First Aiders are
  • If in doubt DO NOT USE THE PRODUCT
  • ASK questions to your Team Leaders and Supervisors
  • BE SAFE!