Why take WHMIS ?
In Canada, all employers are required by law to provide WHMIS
instruction to all employee's who work in contact with, or in proximity to,
any materials defined as "hazardous". In each work environment there are a
wide range of materials and products which can be hazardous to a worker's
health if they are not handled and used properly. Cleaning products, solvents,
paints, glues, and toners are just a sample of some of the hazardous materials
which, if not used properly, can have adverse health effects.
WHMIS, short form for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System,
is a nation wide system that was developed to provide a standardized classification
system for the control, safe handling, storage, and disposal procedures of hazardous
materials in the workplace.
Many employers are unaware of their legal responsibilities and the potential
consequences for non-compliance with OH&S law. Recent changes to Canadian
Occupational Health and Safety legislation provide workers' with the "right
to know" about the hazards they may encounter on the job. Occupational Health
and Safety Law, combined with WHMIS legislation, means that everyone
has a right to know about the safety and health hazards of materials used in their
Penalties and fines for non-compliance are outlined in the various provincial
and territorial legislation. Canadian Occupational Health and Safety laws
provide that it is the employers responsibility to provide proper instruction
respecting a workers' health and safety.