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Environmental and Workplace Health

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's national hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are hazard classification, cautionary labelling of containers, the provision of (material) safety data sheets ((M)SDSs) and worker education and training programs.

The basis for hazard classification and communication in WHMIS is changing. With the incorporation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling for chemicals (GHS) in WHMIS, the hazard classification and communication requirements of WHMIS have been aligned with those used in the United States and other Canadian trading partners. WHMIS is in a period of transition between two hazard communication regimes - WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 (which incorporates the GHS).

 
WHMIS requirements of the amended Hazardous Products Act and Hazardous Products Regulations which incorporate the GHS
 
 
WHMIS requirements of the Hazardous Products Act and Controlled Products Regulations
 
 
Protecting Confidential Business Information: Completing a Claim for Exemption
 
 
 

About WHMIS

Learn about WHMIS and how it is implemented in Canada, including its administration and legal foundation (Hazardous Product Act (HPA) and associated regulations). This topic also provides information on excluded sectors.

WHMIS Transition

To give suppliers, employers and workers time to adjust to the new system, WHMIS 2015 implementation will take place gradually over a three-stage transition period that is synchronized nationally across federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions.  Learn more about WHMIS transition and how to remain compliant with WHMIS requirements.

WHMIS 2015 (incorporating the GHS)

WHMIS 1988 has changed to incorporate the GHS, which is an internationally consistent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information though labels and safety data sheets. This topic includes information about the new hazard communication regime for workplace chemicals - WHMIS 2015, including the amended HPA and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).

WHMIS 1988

Learn about supplier and importer requirements within WHMIS 1988 stemming from the Controlled Products Regulations, including supplier labelling and MSDS requirements, information about WHMIS 1988 classifications, and compliance and enforcement.

Protecting Confidential Business Information (CBI)

Learn about how a WHMIS supplier can protect and maintain the confidentiality of certain chemicals used in WHMIS hazardous products through the claim for exemption process. This topic also provides information on the appeal process related to CBI.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions relating to WHMIS, GHS, protecting CBI, and where employers and workers can find additional resources.

Contacts for WHMIS

See details to contact Health Canada about WHMIS or to contact the federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety regulators. Subscribe to the WHMIS News mailing list to receive updates on WHMIS as they become available.