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Preparing Workers for upcoming changes to WHMIS

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is changing as Canadians prepare to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). To help educate workers about the upcoming changes, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released a new e-course, in partnership with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS) and funded by Health Canada. It is offered free of charge to the first 100,000 participants, for up to one year, and is available in English and French.


The goal of GHS is to have a common set of rules for classifying hazardous products, common rules for labels, and a standard format for safety data sheets (SDSs). The e-course, WHMIS (After GHS) for Workers, will help workers in Canada understand how to communicate hazard information through labels and safety data sheets under the new GHS requirements.
 
This course is recommended for workers in organizations where chemical products are used and will provide participants with education on the new WHMIS as amended by the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the proposed Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). Participants, who complete the e-course, can expect to better understand labels, recognize the pictograms (symbols) and the hazards that they represent, as well as identify the hazards represented by each hazard class. In addition, participants will also learn how to find additional information about hazards and protective measures on safety data sheets.
 
The course features case studies, quizzes and the option to “ask a question.” Employers who want to track that their workers have successfully completed the e-course can purchase a multi-user account with automated tracking.
 
Information about WHMIS (After GHS) for Workers is available on the CCOHS website.