WHMIS 2015 (GHS)

WHMIS 2015 (GHS) Training - Online Course Overview

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is used throughout Canada. WHMIS provides information about hazardous materials that are stored and used in workplaces, and it follows the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOSH), WHMIS has four main components:

  • Identifying hazards and classifying products
  • Labels and symbols for product containers
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS), also known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Education and training for personnel

WHMIS 2015 adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The system now classifies materials into physical hazards and health hazards, replacing the previous classification. Some examples of physical hazards are flammability and high pressure, while health hazards include toxicity and respiratory irritation. The GHS also includes an environmental hazard category, which was not adopted by WHMIS 2015. However, environmental hazards can be included for products that are used in Canada.

In general, hazardous products must be properly labeled, and the supplier must include an SDS for each product. Products labels identify hazards, their severity, and the necessary precautions. On the other hand, Safety Data Sheets complement labels with more detailed information. WHMIS 2015 is also replacing the term controlled products with hazardous products.

Compliance with WHMIS 2015

WHMIS is part of Canadian law, and it falls under the responsibility of Health Canada. The system is also subject to province and territory laws, which means there may be slight changes depending on location. Companies were given a three-year transition period to implement WHMIS 2015, which ended in December 2018. The advantages of the GHS include:

  • Hazard pictograms that are recognized internationally
  • Standardized testing criteria for hazards
  • Expanded classification system that indicates hazard severity, while adding new classes.
  • Physical hazard requirements that meet the Transport of Dangerous Goods regulations.
  • Standardized language and SDS formatting

Hazard pictograms are very useful when classifying materials, since they can communicate threats immediately with recognizable images. WHMIS 2015 uses nine pictograms, and a single material that poses multiple hazards can use more than one:

  • Flame (flammable materials and other heat-related hazards)
  • Flame over circle (oxidizing agents)
  • Gas cylinder (pressure)
  • Corrosion (damages metals, skin, or the eyes)
  • Exploding bomb (self-reactive materials and organic peroxides)
  • Skull and crossbones (high toxicity)
  • Health hazard (respiratory irritants, carcinogens, etc.)
  • Exclamation mark (harmful substances)
  • Biohazardous infectious materials

Depending on how they deal with hazardous materials, WHMIS 2015 classifies companies into suppliers, manufacturers, importers and distributors. Some product categories are not covered by WHMIS, but other Canadian laws apply.

When hazardous materials are used, safety depends on all parties involved. For this reason, WHMIS 2015 assigns specific responsibilities for suppliers, employers and workers. These responsibilities are covered in detail in the Hazardous Products Act.

  • Suppliers are responsible for classifying hazardous materials and providing all the required information, including labels and SDS.
  • Employers must ensure that all information stays available, which includes keeping all labels in good condition. They must also provide training for their personnel.
  • Workers must receive all the necessary training and follow safety guidelines. They must also help identify and control hazards, and report when any information is missing.

WHMIS 2015 (GHS) Training Online Course Topics

  • What is WHMIS?
  • Components of WHMIS
  • WHMIS responsibilities
  • How hazardous products enter the body
  • Classes of hazardous products
  • WHMIS 2015 hazard groups and classes
  • WHMIS 2015 pictograms
  • Supplier and workplace labels
  • Consumer labels
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
  • Emergency Actions
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Universally Compatible

This course was created using standards that will allow playback on most internet capable devices with standard web browsing capabilities including Apple’s iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, as well as most other smart phones and tablets including those with Android and Windows operating systems.


Average Completion Time

Completion times vary depending on the number of times the information is viewed prior to finishing the course. The average completion time is 60 minutes.


Knowledge Assessment

Testing is conducted in this online course to reinforce the information presented. You are provided three opportunities to achieve a passing mark of 80% or greater.


Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, a certificate will be available to download and print. You can access your certificate through your online account.