WORKPLACE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INFORMATION SYSTEM
Hello, and welcome to another MOL podcast.
On today's health and safety segment, we will be looking at the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, commonly known as WHMIS.
WHMIS is a Canada-wide system designed to give employers and workers information about hazardous materials used in the workplace.
It was developed jointly by labour, industry and federal, provincial and territorial governments.
In Ontario, WHMIS applies to all workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and to all federal government workplaces.
It is enforced by Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors in all workplaces under Ontario jurisdiction … and by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Labour Program inspectors in federal workplaces.
WHMIS applies to hazardous materials known as controlled products.
A controlled product is any product that can be included in any of the following six classes:
Class A -- Compressed Gas
Class B -- Flammable and Combustible Material
Class C -- Oxidizing Material
Class D -- Poisonous and Infectious Material
Class E -- Corrosive Material
Class F -- Dangerously Reactive Material
For more information on controlled products, go to our website. We'll give you the co-ordinates at the end of this segment.
WHMIS applies to suppliers, employers and workers.
Suppliers manufacture, process, package, sell or import hazardous materials intended for use in workplaces.
Under WHMIS, a supplier has three duties.
A supplier must determine which hazardous materials intended for use in the workplace are controlled products.
The supplier must label all controlled products as a condition of sale or importation.
And, a supplier must provide material safety data sheets for the controlled products.
An employer in charge of a workplace where controlled products are used has three duties:
First, the employer must ensure that controlled products are labelled or identified,
The employer must also obtain material safety data sheets for controlled products,
And third, the employer must educate workers.
Neither the Occupational Health and Safety Act nor the WHMIS Regulation places direct duties on the worker regarding the implementation of WHMIS.
WHMIS, however, does give workers the right to know about the hazardous materials they are exposed to on the job.
The general duties of the worker as set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act are very important to the implementation of WHMIS.
One of these duties is the duty of the worker to report to the employer any violation of the Act or regulations.
A worker should inform the employer if the worker does not have the proper information on a controlled product.
For example, the worker would report the absence of a material safety data sheet for a new product, or the fact that a label had become illegible.
This has been a quick overview of WHMIS, and its implementation in Ontario workplaces.
For more detailed information on WHMIS, please visit our website at Ontario.ca - forward slash - labour - that's L A B O U R.
Click on the Health and Safety button - scroll down to Key Resources and click on the WHMIS Guide.
There, you'll find detailed information on WHMIS in the workplace.
And that's it for this health and safety segment on MOL Radio.
Thank you for listening.