WHMIS 2015 - Training

 

Important Information
Canada has aligned the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Some companies are sharing that they are receiving high pressure sales calls alluding to the fact that our current system is outdated and everyone has to be re-trained in the new WHMIS 2015.
This is not true. We are in a transition period and it will take time before the new programs is legislated. Health Canada is still in the process of changing the legislation Canada Wide (Federally) and after that is completed it will roll out to the provinces to adopt the new legislation.

Changes are in the works...
Health Canada is the government body responsible for making the required changes to the overall federal WHMIS-related laws. Note that WHMIS-related occupational health and safety regulations for the provinces, territories and federally regulated workplaces will also require updating.

At this point-This is impacting "Suppliers" Canada Wide (Who is the supplier a company who manufactures, distributes, imports hazardous materials for re-sale)The WHMIS 2015 legislation is currently in force. "In force" means thatsuppliersmay begin to use and follow the new requirements for labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous products sold, distributed, or imported into Canada. However, there is a transition period with various stages. At the outset of the transition period, thesuppliermust fully comply with either the repealedControlled Products Regulations(WHMIS 1988) or the HPR (WHMIS 2015) for a specific controlled or hazardous product. The classification, label and (material) SDS must comply fully with the specific regulation chosen by the supplier, and not be a combination of the two.

What will this mean for Canadian Businesses
It will eventually mean that anyone exposed to a hazardous material or likely to be exposed to a hazardous material will have to be retrained under the new Globalized Harmonized System (GHS).


When should I begin education and training programs for WHMIS 2015?TheHazardous Products Regulationswere published in Canada Gazette, Part II on February 11, 2015.  Both the amendedHazardous ProductsAct and new regulations are currently in force.  "In force" means thatsuppliersmay begin to use and follow the new requirements for labels and SDSs for hazardous products sold, distributed, or imported into Canada.

As such, you may begin to see hazardous products that follow WHMIS 2015 requirements.  During the transition period, you may receive hazardous products that follow either WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 requirements. To ensure worker protection, employers must educate and train workers about WHMIS 2015 as new labels and SDSs appear in their workplaces. During the transition period, employers may continue to have WHMIS 1988 labels and MSDSs in the workplace - if so, they must also continue to educate workers about WHMIS 1988. Employers must review and comply with the WHMIS requirements of their occupational health and safety jurisdiction.

Notethat education and training requirements fall under the WHMIS-related occupational health and safety regulations for the provinces, territories and federally regulated workplaces. These laws are currently being updated.Consult your local jurisdiction for information on specific requirements and transition timelines.

Will there be a need to provide education and training in both old WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015?

Yes. Keep in mind that education and training on the 'old' WHMIS 1988 system will be necessary for as long as workplace products have 'old' WHMIS style labels and MSDSs - for example, until the product is re-labelled or existing stock is used up. This situation will exist until the transition to WHMIS 2015 is complete.