Act First Safety

5 Reasons WHMIS 2015 with GHS Will Make Workplaces Safer

1. WHMIS 2015 uses the Global Harmonized System (GHS), a worldwide standardized approach to labelling and communicating safety information. This new WHMIS system aligns Canada’s occupational hazard classification and communication requirements with those used by the United States and our other major trading partners. This consistency will help to protect workers from hazardous products that have been manufactured and labelled in other countries.

2. There is more comprehensive and detailed information on product labels and safety data sheets.

The new criteria in the Global Harmonized System are more thorough than those in WHMIS 1988. This will make it easier for suppliers to indicate the severity of hazards. WHMIS 2015 also identifies some hazardous properties of chemicals not previously addressed in WHMIS 1988 such as specific target organ toxicity — single exposure and aspiration hazards.

3. Information on safety data sheets is easier to find

Information is presented in a consistent manner in all safety data sheets, regardless of supplier. Also, information that workers and emergency responders need most appears first.

4. Pictograms are easier to understand than the old symbols

Pictograms are considered to be more easily recognized than the old symbols. This will improve hazard communications, especially for workers who have difficulty reading, or communicating in the common language.

5. Workers can be better trained to identify, handle, store and transport dangerous products

Because employers and workers exposed to products containing hazardous materials will have access to a broader range of hazard information, and this information will be easier to understand, training will be more easily understood and more effective.

Although Canadian employers have until December, 2018 to transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, your workers may already be exposed to hazardous materials in products labelled under the new global GHS format. If so, it is in your best interests (and your legal obligation) to have your workers trained in WHMIS 2015 as soon as possible.

WHMIS training may be taken online at the Act First Safety website or through an instructor-led classroom presentation at your workplace for groups of any size. Discounts may be available for employee groups of 10 or more.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Leave a Reply