What you Need to Know About WHMIS 2015 Compliance
It is important to know about WHMIS 2015 compliance, whether you are a supplier, employer, or employee.
Canada has now aligned the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), providing benefits beyond the existence of a comprehensive system for providing health and safety information on the safe use of hazardous products used in Canadian workplaces.
By aligning with GHS, WHIMIS now has hazard classification material that is more comprehensive, improving the ability to indicate hazard severity. There are new hazard classes included, and physical hazard criteria are consistent with Transport of Dangerous Goods regulations. The system has been standardized overall, including in regards to language and SDS format.
What does this mean for you?
WHMIS 2015 is rolling out with a multi-year transition plan, giving people time to adjust to the new system.
Until May 31, 2017, suppliers can use either forms of WHMIS to classify and communicate their hazards, but must choose one or the other. From June 1, 2017 on to May 31, 2018, distributors can sell products compliant with either form, and suppliers importing for their own use can do the same.
As an employer or employee, during this time frame you will likely receive materials that are labeled under both forms of WHMIS. It is important to educate employers about the new regulations was soon as possible, and it is imperative to do so once WHMIS 2015 levels start appearing in your workplace.
You are allowed to have both levels and MSDSs in your workplace during the transition period, but if you do so, you must ensure all employees are educated about both WHMIS 2015 and WHMIS 1998.
As the switch draws closer, ensure you are following all regulations.