Tuesday Jul 30, 2019

Author: NOTO

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The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires the employer to review to worker's familiarity with the WHMIS training and instruction at least annually, and in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if any. 

As of 2015, the Government has moved to the Globalized Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. As a result the WHIMIS training was modified to reflect this change and new WHMIS symbols have been put in place. The old 1988 WHMIS training and associated labels were to be fazed out of businesses as of December 31st, 2018. 

Employees should be certified under the WHIMIS 2015 training program and be familiar with the new WHMIS symbols. In general, employees should be able to answer the following questions:

1) What are the hazards of this product?

2) How do I protect myself?

3) What should I do in an emergency?

4) Where is the safety data sheet? Where can I get more information?

This document published by the Worker Health and Safety Federation of Ontario includes a checklist which you can use as part of your employee review. There is also this much more elaborate checklist from the Government of Ontario. If your employees answer no to some of the checklist items, you should have them complete the WHMIS certification program. The WHSFO also has other resources and WHMIS fact sheets you may be interested in. You can access them by clicking here. 

You can print, review and use these checklists as proof of your yearly review with your employees. Please ensure employees sign the checklist and keep a copy on file with the employees WHMIS certificate as the Ministry of Labour may ask you to provide records of your annual review or may ask your employees questions about WHMIS.

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