WHMIS 2015 Labels

On February 11, 2015, the adoption of internationally agreed-upon, standardized hazard classification and communication system, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), officially commenced in Canada. Forming part of the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR), the new regulations enabled the integration of international standards of classifying and labeling chemicals with the existing Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 1988 or old WHMIS), resulting in the updated WHMIS 2015.

New Labeling Requirements

Among other things, WHMIS 2015 contains new requirements for labeling hazardous products. The new labeling system is aimed at introducing better communication of the dangers involved in handling hazardous chemicals, implementing standardized labeling principles that eliminate inconsistencies from country to country and promoting worker safety.

According to WHMIS 2015, all products used in the workplace which satisfy the criteria for being classified as hazardous must be labeled. Labels display chemical hazard information to workers and include the name of the material inside a container, the kinds of hazards it poses, and the measures that should be taken for its safe usage and storage. The labels are also aimed at alerting the user of the major hazards associated with the products they are about to handle, compelling them to follow recommended precautionary and safety precautions when handling the products.

WHMIS 2015 labels are added to hazardous products by manufacturers and suppliers before the products are provided to users or customers. All employers are responsible for ensuring that hazardous products entering into their workplaces are properly labeled. The employers must also create and apply workplace labels as necessary.