Workers’ Right to Know! WHMIS-Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

Workers’ Right to Know! WHMIS-Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

February 14, 2013

In Canada, workers have a right to know about health and safety hazards at work. Many materials and chemicals in the workplace can cause serious health effects, as well as safety hazards such as fire or explosions. This is why it is a requirement to have a Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) program and training in your workplace. Awareness is key to preventing injuries and incidents.

Employers are required by law to provide WHMIS education and training for their workers on hazardous materials. WHMIS Education and Training will teach workers about material labels, symbols, MSDS, as well as train workers in procedures such as material handling, disposal, and how to handle emergency situations such as spills. Workers need to know about the required personal protective equipment (PPE) and first aid. Training must be reviewed at least annually or earlier if there is change or update.

All products need to be clearly labelled, and all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be present and readily available to workers. MSDS provides information on a material’s chemical and physical properties, health hazards, first aid recommendations, personal protection, fire and reactivity data, spill and disposal procedures, as well as storage and handling. This information needs to be accessible by all employees. Your MSDS is only valid for 3 years so make sure to review your sheets regularly and keep the most up-to-date MSDS on file.

Safety First Consulting can help you develop your program and train your workers. Call us today to see how we can help.

Feel free to contact our Workplace Health and Safety Ontario team here .