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 eohss@mcmaster.ca.

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