The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
As the name implies, WHMIS is a system that is designed to provide information to employers and employees so they can safely organize work with dangerous chemicals. WHMIS was developed by representatives of the federal and provincial governments, unions and employer organizations. The program was implemented in 1988 by a series of acts and regulations passed in each provincial legislature and in Ottawa. In Nova Scotia, both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and WHMIS regulations provide the legal basis for the system. Although there are different pieces of legislation in each Canadian jurisdiction, each is based upon a single model so WHMIS requirements are consistent across the country. WHMIS places obligations on suppliers of hazardous products as well as employers who use these products.
In February 2015, WHMIS was modified to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for classifying and labeling chemicals known as WHMIS 2015.
A Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System course is required if you work with or around chemicals. Individuals who have not yet received the new WHMIS 2015 training must enroll in the course.This course is available online through the College of Continuing Education. The new online training course will provide an easy to follow comparison between WHMIS 1988 and 2015.
Following the completion of WHMIS training, it is strongly recommended that individuals undergo refresher training every three years.