Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

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WHMIS is a Canada wide system designed to give employees and workers information about hazardous materials used in the workplace. Under WHMIS there are three ways in which information on hazardous materials is to be provided:

  1. Labels on Containers of hazardous materials
  2. Material safety data sheets to supplement the label with detailed hazardous and pre-cautionary information
  3. Worker education programs

The purpose of WHMIS is to give all working Canadians consistent and appropriate quantity and quality of information about hazardous materials used in the workplace. By setting the standards for the type and amount of information to be given to the users of hazardous materials, it is expected that accidents and diseases caused by theses materials in the workplace will be reduced.

Employees must review their WHMIS training at least annually. The frequency of updates and reviews should be determined by your employer in consultation with your health and safety committees (if applicable). It may be more or less frequently then annually, depending on whether there is a change of circumstance or a perceived necessity.

Training for this course can be arranged through the PAT Institute — this computer-based course is a generic overview of WHMIS. Interested participants or employees should call the PAT Institute at 1-888-501-9272 or visit www.patinstitute.ca for more information.

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