WHMIS 2015

This online WHMIS 2015 course aims to prevent workplace injuries, diseases, and deaths resulting from the storage and use of hazardous products

WHMIS 2015

Since 1988, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) has been Canada’s hazard communication system for workplace chemicals. It is a national system implemented through interlocking federal, provincial, and territorial legislation and regulations.

The problem has become that, even with WHMIS, different Canadian federal and provincial agencies regulate the workplace, transportation of hazardous products, and the effects of hazardous material on the environment. Because of this, labels for the same product often vary. This discrepancy leads to worker confusion, consumer uncertainty, and the need for additional resources to maintain multiple hazard classification systems.

WHMIS is changing.

New international standards have been developed for classifying hazardous chemicals and providing information on labels and safety data sheets. These new standards are part of the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and are being phased in across Canada between February 2015 and December 2018. This new system is called WHMIS 2015.

The overall goal of WHMIS 2015 is similar to that of Canada’s former hazard classification system, WHMIS 1988. Both systems seek to protect both you and the environment from potential exposure to hazardous products by ensuring that your employer provides necessary protection in the form of appropriate tools, policies, and standards.

WHMIS 2015 Online Course

What are the main differences between WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015?

Under WHMIS 2015, “controlled products” are called “hazardous products” and there are:

  • New rules for classifying hazardous workplace chemicals
  • Two main hazard classes: physical hazards and health hazards
  • New label requirements, including new pictograms that replace the symbols that correspond to WHMIS 1988 hazard classes
  • A different format for safety data sheets

The key responsibilities of suppliers, employers, and workers are the same under WHMIS 2015 as they were in WHMIS 1988.

How will the transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015 take place?

The transition from WHMIS 2015 will take place in three phases:

Phase 1 – February 11, 2015 to May 31, 2017 – during this phase:

  • Suppliers (manufacturers or importers) can use WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 to classify and communicate the hazards of their products, with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones
  • Employers may receive and use hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones
  • DEADLINE: As of June 1, 2017, chemical manufacturers and importers must sell hazardous products with labels and safety data sheets that comply with only the new WHMIS 2015 requirements.

Phase 2 – June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018 – during this phase:

  • Distributors may continue to sell hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones
  • Employers may continue to receive and use hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones
  • DEADLINE: As of June 1, 2018, distributors must sell hazardous products that comply with WHMIS 2015 requirements only. The transition to WHMIS 2015 will be complete for all suppliers.

Phase 3 – June 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 – during this phase:

  • Employers will have these final six months of the transition to bring their existing inventories of hazardous products into compliance with WHMIS 2015
  • DEADLINE: By December 1, 2018, the transition to WHMIS 2015 must be complete for all parties. There should be no hazardous products in the workplace with old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets.

Training requirements

Workers need to be trained on both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 throughout the transition period.

During the transition, employers must ensure that workers are trained on:

  • Products with WHMIS 1998 labels and material safety data sheets, for as long as they are still used in the workplace
  • Products with WHMIS 2015 labels and safety data sheets, as soon as these products enter the workplace and, in some cases, before they are used

Training requirements may vary by jurisdiction. Employers should review and comply with the WHMIS requirements of their occupational health and safety jurisdiction.

WHMIS 2015 Online Training


This online WHMIS 2015 course implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) standard for hazard classification and communication. This course aims to prevent workplace injuries, diseases, and deaths resulting from the storage and use of hazardous products by helping you develop an understanding of the WHMIS 2015 standards. By the end of this course, you will have the knowledge and understanding necessary to answer the following questions:

  • What hazardous products could I be exposed to?
  • Where do I find information about the hazards of these products?
  • How do I protect myself?
  • What should I do if an incident occurs?

By the end of this course, you should also be able to:

  • Identify physical and health hazards
  • Take precautionary measures including choosing appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Classify substances and mixtures based on WHMIS 2015 hazard classifications
  • Identify the hazard and safety information found on WHMIS 2015 labels
  • Identify WHMIS 2015 symbols and pictograms
  • Locate and apply information contained on safety data sheets
  • Outline your rights as a worker and the responsibilities of your employer
  • Explain the importance of education and training


The course is presented with voice-over narration and features photographs, graphics, and chapter questions to enhance the educational experience.


A 58-page .pdf participant manual is available to print and reference while completing the online course. The print material is also available after the training is completed and can be downloaded from your account home page. Throughout the print materials, blank lines are provided to facilitate note taking and increase the retention of the content provided. Charts are included throughout the materials that contain supplemental information on WHMIS 2015 classification criteria for the various hazard classes and categories. Other supplemental materials include a sample WHMIS 2015 label, a comprehensive breakdown of what is included in each of a safety data sheet’s 16 sections, and a glossary of important WHMIS 2015 terms used in industry and throughout the course.


This course introduces you to the history of WHMIS, the need for a universal hazard classification system, and the importance of WHMIS 2015. It also covers some of the key differences between the old and new WHMIS systems.

The information in this course is presented in five chapters:

Chapter 1: Health and Safety
This chapter covers factors that influence the severity of exposure, routes of entry, potential health effects of hazardous products, and how to prevent exposure hazards.

Chapter 2: Classification
This chapter explains how substances and mixtures are assigned to hazard classes and categories under WHMIS 2015 and covers all WHMIS 2015 hazard classes.

Chapter 3: Labels
This chapter identifies the pictograms and other standardized elements of WHMIS 2015 labels as well as explains the requirements for workplace labels and label exemption situations.

Chapter 4: Safety Data Sheets
This chapter outlines the information contained in safety data sheets, how they should be used, and the responsibilities of manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, employers, and workers as they relate to safety data sheets.

Chapter 5: Rights, Responsibilities, Education, and Training
This chapter covers worker rights, employer responsibilities, and the importance of education and training in WHMIS 2015.

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 135 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.