WHMIS / GHS Training

1 Contact Safety provides a comprehensive and engaging WHMIS training course that’s customized for each employer's specific needs while ensuring all legal requirements are met in accordance with both federal and provincial health and safety standards. Our training courses generally take place on-site, at your location and can be completed in as little as 2 hours time. For more information on the legal and legislative requirements for WHMIS training, please read below. Otherwise, click on the button below to schedule your next training course:

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Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training, commonly known as WHMIS, is a legal requirement under federal and provincial legislation in any workplace that utilizes, stores or otherwise works with hazardous materials. While in Ontario, WHMIS training has been required since the 1990’s, the Ontario government recently amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the WHMIS Regulation (R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 860) to adopt a new international standard as part of the the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). 

The Goal of WHMIS / GHS

The goal of the new system is to standardize safety practices globally to better protect workers from hazardous materials. As such, the same set of rules for classifying hazards, and the same format and content for labels and safety data sheets (SDS) will be adopted and used around the world. During the transition, employers must ensure workers are trained on both the old and new labels and safety data sheets for as long as both are present in the workplace. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, aligning the legislative framework for WHMIS in Canada and Ontario with GHS has a number of key benefits including the following: 

  • The criteria used in hazardous classification systems is now more comprehensive, which allows for specific indications on the severity of each hazard;
  • The expanded classification criteria has created more classes to cover a wider range of hazards;
  • Physical hazards are now more consistent with the regulations for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods;
  • There is a standardized language for hazard and precautionary statements between Canada and the rest of the world; and,
  • Safety data sheets are now in a more standardized format with more comprehensive requirements on the type, detail and visibility of the information. 

Fortunately, 1 Contact Safety provides a comprehensive WHMIS training program that covers both the new and old labels to help employers deal with the legal ramifications of this transition. What’s more, we go above and beyond the requirements for WHMIS training with our 2 step training process, which covers both the theoretical information set out by WHMIS legislation as well as providing the workplace-specific training that is required for every employer in Ontario.

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"What are my responsibilities as an employer?"

Employer’s Duties Under WHMIS:

Whenever hazard materials are used in the workplace, employers in Ontario are required to follow the standards and guidelines set out in OHSA and WHMIS regulations. These duties include the following:

  • Employers must ensure all employees receive appropriate training and education on the hazards within the workplace and how to safely use and handle products;
  • Ensure that all hazardous products are appropriately labelled according to WHMIS and OHSA regulations;
  • Prepare workplace-specific labels if necessary;
  • Prepare Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) whenever needed (e.g., if an employer is manufacturing a hazardous product that is used in the workplace);
  • Ensure that workers are provided with easily accessible and current SDS’s; and,
  • Ensure that appropriate control measures have been put into place to prevent injury and protect the health and safety of all of their employees. 

Workplace WHMIS Inspections:

Beyond protecting the health and safety of your employees, another reason employers should ensure they are following all relevant WHMIS legislation is the possibility for workplace inspections. Inspectors may enter any workplace provided that they have reasonable grounds to believe that a) an activity related to WHMIS is being conducted on the premises (i.e., hazardous materials are being used or stored on-site); or b) an object related to WHMIS regulation (e.g., a hazardous product) is located at the workplace. Generally speaking, inspectors will conduct verify that your workplace is compliant with all regulations related to WHMIS, verify that any hazardous products arriving from suppliers have proper SDSs, and ensure that the employer has a WHMIS compliant health and safety program in place. This is one reason why it’s important to comply with WHMIS regulations, have an expert conduct an audit of your facility, provide appropriate WHMIS training and maintain accurate and up-to-date records on your WHMIS program and safety activities. 


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