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What is WHMIS?
• Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, referred to as
WHMIS, is a Canada-wide system which was created by business, labour
and government so that people who work with hazardous materials on the
job have the information to protect their health and safety.
• WHMIS is made up of three parts:
o WHMIS labels
o Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
o Worker Education

• Labels are the first part of the WHMIS delivery system. They warn workers
of the dangers of hazardous materials and give them information. There
are tow types of WHMIS labels: supplier & workplace.
• Supplier Labels:
o They are placed on containers by the supplier or manufacturer.
o They must contain:
 Product name
 Supplier name
 Referral to MSDS
 Hazard symbol
 Risks
 Precautionary measurers
 First aid measures
• Supplier labels must be presented in both English and French and have
the distinctive WHMIS border.
• Workplace labels:
o The employer is responsible for ensuring that all hazardous
materials containers have labels.
o They are used:
 When hazardous materials are produced in the workplace
 When hazardous materials are poured from the original
container into another one.
 If the supplier label is missing or illegible.
o They must have:
 Product name
 Safe handling instructions
 MSDS statement
o No container holding hazardous material should be without a label.
Tell your supervisor if you see such an item.

MSDS Sheets:
• Are the second part of WHMIS and are part of the delivery system.
• First part of the label warns the worker of the hazard and gives
basic information, other info includes clean-up, technical details
and emergency procedures.
• Supplier & manufacturer are required to provide and MSDS sheet
for all products. Must be updated every 3 years.
• Employer is required to ensure MSDS sheets are available for
• Contents:
o MSDS must contain the following 9 categories:
 Hazardous ingredients
 Preparation Information
 Product information
 Physical data
 Fire or explosion hazard
 Reactivity data
 Toxicological properties
 Preventive measures
 First aid measures

Three Main Ways a Toxic material can enter your body:

1. Breathing/Inhalation
2. Swallowing/Ingestion
3. Absorption
4. Injection

Control of Hazards:
• A workplace hazard can be controlled in many different ways.
• Examples include:
i. Engineering controls: designed to keep material from being
released into the workplace such as ventilation systems,
enclosures or isolation.
ii. Work Practices: standard work rules, rotating shifts,
understanding correct procedures
iii. Hygiene practices: personal hygiene, washing hands,
protective devices, proper clothing
iv. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): gloves, goggles,
masks, overalls, respirators, boots, clothes.

Workers Rights and Responsibilities:

Under WHMIS, workers have the right:

• To know about any hazards they might be exposed to
• To refuse unsafe work
• To consult with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety

Workers also have duties:

• To participate in WHMIS training
• To handle hazardous materials in a safe manner