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WHIMIS 2015 and GHS- are you ready?

In 2015, WHMIS aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS), a worldwide hazard communication system.

The main components of WHMIS 2015 are hazard identification, product classification, labeling, safety data sheets (SDS), and worker education and training.

Also, here at Diversified Staffing we offer free WHIMIS 2015 training for all of our candidates who may require it.

What Changed?

  • Hazard classes (now tiered based on risk)
  • Pictograms used to communicate hazards (aligned with TDG symbols)
  • Required elements of labels
  • The format of (M)SDSs (now 16 sections, was 9 sections)

What did not change?

  • Canadian provinces require that employers educate their workers about hazardous products in the workplace
  • Supplier labels and workplace labels must be attached to hazardous products and the (M)SDS are available on site

When is WHMIS 2015 effective?

Phase 1 (February 11, 2015 – May 31, 2018)

  • Manufacturers and importers are permitted to use WHMIS 1988 during a transition to WHMIS 2015
  • Distributors and employers can continue to use WHMIS 1988 or transition to WHMIS 2015 if they wish

Phase 2 (June 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018)

  • Manufacturers and importers must be using WHMIS 2015.
  • Distributors are permitted to use WHMIS 1988 but should begin transition to WHMIS 2015 if they haven’t already.
  • Employers can continue to use WHMIS 1988 or transition to WHMIS 2015 if they wish.

Phase 3 (September 1, 2018 – November 30, 2018)

  • Distributors must be using WHMIS 2015.
  • Employers may continue to use WHMIS 1988 but should begin transitioning to WHMIS 2015 if they haven’t already.

Completion (December 1, 2018)

  • WHMIS 2015 is now in effect across Canada.
  • Manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers must all be using WHMIS 2015.

What WHMIS 2015 means for… 

Employers:

  • Employers must update their SDS inventories as the new SDS are received
  • Workers should be training on WHMIS 2015 as soon as SDS and/or labels are present in the workplace or by December 1, 2018
  • Workplace labels must be updated to be WHMIS 2015 compliant when WHMIS 2015 provincial legislation is updated.

Workers:

  • Workers must become familiar with WHMIS 2015 and participate in their employers WHMIS 2015 program, training and transition plan
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