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WHMIS. WHSCC/Cssiat. W H M I S. W orkplace H azardous M aterials I nformation S ystem. Introduction to Whmis. WHMIS is Canada-wide legislation, dealing with controlled products in the workplace.

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2003 2

introduction to whmis
Introduction to Whmis

WHMIS is Canada-wide legislation, dealing with controlled products in the workplace.

*A controlledproduct is ‘any product, material or substance included in any one of the classes listed in the Hazardous Products Act (HPA).’

2003 3

whmis is designed to solve the problem of
WHMIS is Designed to Solve the Problem of:
  • Unlabelled materials in the workplace
  • Inadequate or contradictory information being given to employers/workers regarding identification, hazardous properties and precautions to be taken with hazardous materials used in the workplace

2003 4

three components of whmis
Three Components of WHMIS
  • Labels on hazardous materials or their containers
  • MSDS or material safety data sheets which are technical bulletins providing more detailed information than the label
  • Worker education, providing instruction on hazards and safe work procedures

2003 5

flow of information



Supplier label


Informed worker


Worker Training



Flow of Information

2003 6


Two Types:

  • Supplier labels (developed and provided by the supplier)
  • Workplace labels (developed and used in the workplace)

2003 7

supplier label design and application
Supplier label: Design and Application

1 of 3

  • Content layout: not legislated
  • Border: specific
  • Colour: not legislated
  • Legibility: distinct; good contrast
  • Durability: able to withstand normal use
  • Application: imprinted; stenciled; attached
  • Language: English and French

2003 8

supplier label required statements
Supplier Label: Required Statements

2 of 3

1. Product Identifier

2. Hazard Symbols

3. Risk Phrases

4. Precautions

5. First Aid

6. Supplier Information

7. Reference to MSDS

2003 9

supplier label
Supplier Label

3 of 3

2003 10

what do we know
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Compressed Gas

(Class A):

  • Poses an explosion danger because the gas is under pressure
  • Container may explode if heated in a fire, or dropped
  • examples include: compressed air, carbon dioxide, propane, oxygen, ethylene oxide, and welding gases

2003 12

what do we know1
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Combustible and Flammable Material

(Class B):

  • Will burn and is therefore a potential fire hazard
  • May burn at relatively low temperatures; flammable materials catch fire at lower temperatures than combustible materials
  • May burst into flame spontaneously in air, or release a flammable gas on contact with water
  • May cause a fire when exposed to heat, sparks, or flames, or as a result of friction
  • Common examples include: propane, butane, acetylene, ethanol, acetone, turpentine, toluene, kerosene, Stoddard solvent, spray paints and varnish.

2003 14

what do we know2
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Oxidizing Material

(Class C):

  • Poses a fire and/or explosion risk in the presence of flammable or combustible material
  • May react violently when it comes into contact with combustible materials such as fuels or wood
  • May burn skin and eyes upon contact
  • Oxidizers can also be in the form of gases (oxygen, ozone), liquids (nitric acid, perchloric acid solutions) and solids (potassium permanganate, sodium chlorite).

2003 16

what do we know3
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Poisonous and Infectious Material

(Class D, Division 1):

  • Is a potentially fatal poisonous substance
  • May be fatal or cause permanent damage if it is inhaled or swallowed or if it enters the body through skin contact
  • May burn eyes or skin upon contact
  • Examples of some D-1 materials include carbon monoxide, sodium cyanide, sulphuric acid, toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI), and acrylonitrile.

2003 18

what do we know4
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Poisonous and Infectious Material: Other Toxic Effects (Class D, Division 2):

  • Not immediately dangerous to health
  • May cause death or permanent damage as a result of repeated exposure over time
  • May be a sensitizer, which produces an allergy
  • May cause cancer, birth defects, or sterility
  • Examples include: asbestos fibres, mercury, acetone, benzene, quartz silica (crystalline), lead and cadmium.

2003 20

what do we know5
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Poisonous and Infectious Material: Biohazardous, infectious material

(Class D, Division 3):

  • May cause a serious disease resulting in illness (AIDS, Hepatitis) or death
  • Can also include tetanus protection
  • Examples of biohazardous infectious materials include the AIDS/HIV virus, Hepatitis B and salmonella.

2003 22

what do we know6
What do We Know?

2 of 2

Corrosive Material

(Class E):

  • Causes severe eye and skin irritation upon contact
  • Causes severe tissue damage with prolonged contact
  • Often produces vapor or fumes that may be harmful if inhaled
  • Common corrosives include acids such as sulphuric and nitric acids, bases such as ammonium hydroxide and caustic soda and other materials such as ammonia gas, chlorine, and nitrogen dioxide.

2003 24

what do we know7
What Do We Know?

2 of 2

Dangerously Reactive Material

(Class F):

  • Is very unstable
  • May react with water to release a toxic or flammable gas
  • May explode as a result of shock, friction or an increase in temperature
  • May explode if heated when in a closed container
  • Undergoes vigorous polymerization
  • Examples of these products are ethyl acrylate, vinyl chloride, ethylene oxide, picric acid and anhydrous aluminum chloride.

2003 26

workplace labels
Workplace Labels

1 of 2

  • Methanol
  • Avoid inhaling vapours, handle with care
  • Flammable
  • Avoid eye and skin contact
  • See MSDS for more information
  • Product Identifier
  • Information on safe handling of the product
  • Reference to MSDS

2003 27

workplace labels1
Workplace Labels

2 of 2

  • Must be displayed to give clear warning to employees
  • May be a label, tag, sign or other
  • Is not required to be bilingual; can be in the language of the workplace

2003 28

material safety data sheets
Material Safety Data Sheets

1 of 3

The MSDS is:

  • A technical information reference for worker education and control measures
  • A document which can be distributed

2003 29

material safety data sheets1
Material Safety Data Sheets

2 of 3

The MSDS is NOT:

  • All the information needed for the safe use of a product in every possible situation
  • A document only to be read and filed

2003 30

msds required criteria
MSDS Required Criteria

3 of 3

1. Product Identifier

2. Ingredients

3. Physical Data

4. Fire and Explosion Hazards

5. Reactivity Data

6. Toxicological Properties

7. Preventive Measures

8. First Aid Measures

9. Preparation Information

2003 31

worker education
Worker Education

1 of 2

Anyone working with or nearby controlled products must be trained in hazard information and procedures regarding:

  • Safe use
  • Storage
  • Handling
  • Disposal
  • Emergency procedures

2003 32

supplier responsibilities
Supplier Responsibilities

Supplier responsibilities are found under the Hazardous Products Act

(Federal Bill C-07)

Suppliers Must:

I. Label controlled products intended for workplace use

II. Supply MSDS with each controlled product

2003 33

employer responsibilities
Employer Responsibilities
  • The employer’s WHMIS responsibilities are outlined in Provincial Regulation 88-221:
  • To obtain MSDS from supplier
  • Ensure appropriate labeling (supplier and workplace)
  • Provide adequate instruction and training to employees
  • Sort and file the MSDS in a clearly indicated and easily accessible area

2003 34


1 of 2

  • Labels
  • MSDS
  • Worker Education

WHMIS has three components:

  • Compressed Gas
  • Flammable
  • Oxidizers
  • Poisons
  • Corrosives
  • Reactive

WHMIS is a hazard class driven system

2003 35


2 of 2

Employers must train their workers to use the information provided by

  • Labels
  • MSDS

Training should be reviewed and/or updated

Yearly, or as conditions change

2003 36