Faculty of Science's Fall Term Update on courses, labs, tutorials, exams, research and fieldwork

New Labels for WHMIS 2015 Implementation and Compliance Available

McMaster-specific standardized workplace labels are now available for WHMIS 2015 labeling compliance. Users of hazardous materials with WHMIS 1988 supplier labels are expected to apply the new, compliant labels as soon as possible. A poster from Environmental & Occupational Health Support Services (EOHSS) highlights specific labeling instructions. EOHSS and the Faculty encourage you to print and post it in labs and other work areas. The new labels are available at the following locations and will also be distributed to Departmental offices. 

• Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services – Gilmour Hall 304
• Faculty of Health Sciences Safety Office – HSC 1J11A
• Health Sciences Stores – HSC 1G1
• ABB Stores (limited hours) – ABB B166.

If you have questions, please contact EOHSS

Remember, the current WHMIS legislation requires three compliance components:

  • Training: WHMIS 2015 training is available online for all staff, faculty, graduate students, and researchers. All members of the McMaster community require training on the WHMIS 2015 program. The training program is available for completion online through Mosaic. Have you completed yours?
  • Safety Data Sheets: Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are required to be replaced with Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for hazardous materials information and be readily accessible to all workers within their work location. These documents are available on the EOHSS webpage as well as directly from chemical suppliers.
  • Labelling of Hazardous Materials: All WHMIS controlled products purchased before August 30, 2018 need to comply with new WHMIS 2015 requirements. This requires existings inventories of chemicals to have an additional McMaster University workplace label attached.

Call for RBC Blue Water Project Now Open

The Faculty is accepting proposals for the 2019 RBC Blue Water Project Competition. Since 2009, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Blue Water Foundation and the RBC Blue Water Project have supported several projects led by Science faculty members. These water-related projects have had a strong focus on community engagement and outreach. More information can be found on the call and application form.

Completed applications are due in the Dean’s Office, April 10, 2019 by 4:00 p.m. Electronic submissions, in .pdf format, can be sent to

Faculty Announces Research Infrastructure Renewal Fund

The Faculty of Science is  pleased to introduce a new program to help with lab equipment renewal, Research Infrastructure Renewal Fund. This fund is designed to help researchers purchase items in the range of $10,000 to $30,000. Applications are due March 7, 2019. Researchers can find more details and the application form here. Completed and endorsed (by your Department Chair or School Director), should be sent to Seanna-Lin Brodie-Keys,, in a pdf format.

Questions about the programs can be addressed to Gianni Parise, Associate Dean (Research & External Relations) or Seanna-Lin Brodie-Keys, Administrator (Research & Facilities), 

WHMIS 2015 Compliance – Are You Ready?

Reminder from Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services  (EOHSS), McMaster University

Did you know that WHMIS 1988 will be changing to WHMIS 2015? Currently, the Province is in a transition period where both regulations apply. This means that Safety Data Sheets/Material Safety Data Sheets and labeling requirements for both are acceptable. The current McMaster WHMIS 2015 training provides instruction on both regulations. If you haven’t already completed this training, please ensure that you complete it as soon as possible.

As of December 1, 2018, the Province will fully transition to WHMIS 2015. This will incorporate the Global Harmonized System (GHS) of labelling and classifying chemicals.  WHMIS 2015 also changes the requirements for Safety Data Sheets or SDSs, formerly MSDSs. By this date, WHMIS-controlled products in the workplace must have labels displaying pictograms, hazard classifications and precautionary statements as per the WHMIS 2015 regulation. Many chemical suppliers have already transitioned to the new requirements and many products in your work areas may already be in compliance. However, older products must be in compliance by this date. To give you an idea as to whether your product is in compliance, please review the graphic below.

WHMIS labels example.

Old product labels will not grandfathered. Therefore, it’s time to start thinking about either re-labeling or disposing of products that are not in compliance with WHMIS 2015.  Please note that upon retirement or labortory shutdown, supervisors of labs are responsible for disposing of chemicals – at their cost.  

EOHSS is working on providing solutions for you. We are designing new workplace labels for WHMIS controlled products and will be implementing a chemical inventory management system which will provide the required SDSs. Great things are coming in the New Year! For more information, contact us at

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