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Are you setting up or reviewing your WHMIS Program?

According to WHMIS regulations all employers who have products classified as "Hazardous Products" under WHMIS 2015 regulations are required to have a WHMIS Program in place and review this program annually with employees.

Lets review what a WHMIS Program consists of:

A Hazardous Product Listing or Inventory - a WHMIS Program is developed by the Employer in consultation with the employee safety representative or joint health and safety committee. The intention of the program is to ensure information about hazardous products is communicated effectively with all employees. The starting point is a product listing or inventory that identifies each hazardous product, the quantity on hand and the location.

Hazard Identification - the hazard(s) of each product must be identified as a product is brought into the workplace in order to make decisions about the storage, handling, safe use and disposal as well as emergency response plans.  

Regular Workplace Inspections - inspections are required to ensure all hazardous products are properly labelled and the container or packaging is in good condition, and the SDS for each product is available to all workers.

Education, Training and Testing - Employers are responsible for making sure all workers who work with hazardous products or may be exposed to hazardous products are knowledgeable on the hazards of these products. This level of knowledge includes an understanding of what the WHMIS system is, the classification of products into hazard classes, how to read a supplier or workplace label, and how to read a Safety Data Sheet. This type of education or training is often provided through an generic level training course and can be done in person or online. This forms the basis for more product and workplace specific training on the safe usage, handling, storage, disposal, precautions, and what to do in the event of a situation such as an exposure, spill or emergency situation. This level of training is also referred to as "hands on" and is often provided by a supervisor, manager or person trained in the safe work procedures for that product. This level of training can also be done online with product and site specific training materials

Review, Evaluate and Revise - each of the steps in the program must be reviewed at least once a year. In addition to reviewing the product inventory and workplace inspection process, a review with workers must be conducted to ensure workers are aware of any changes in the program.The annual review with each worker allows the Employer to assess the workers knowledge level, typically through testing, to allow a decision on when retraining or a WHMIS refresher is required for each worker.

WHMIS Record Keeping - records should be kept of hazardous product inventories, workplace inspections, safe work procedures, employee training records, and annual WHMIS reviews. This documentation is an essential part of the WHMIS program and helps to demonstrate the decisions and actions taken to ensure an effective WHMIS program is in place.

If you have any questions about setting up your WHMIS Program or conducting an Annual WHMIS review contact the Service and Support team.