Manipulating certain chemicals and substances during work in Canada means that you should know what you and your employer have to do in order to ensure your safety, which is regulated by WHMIS. The WHMIS Branches are located in WHMIS Ontario, WHMIS Alberta, etc., If you are not sure what we are talking about, find more information about WHMIS Canada and WHMIS Symbols below.
As it was explained in another post, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System or WHMIS was created to ensure the safety of employers and their employees while they are exposed to hazardous materials during work.
In each province, different institutions are in charge of WHMIS. For example, in Ontario, The Ministry of Labour administers legislation, while in Alberta the responsibility is of Alberta Labour.
It involves three key aspects: properly labeling, SDSs and education and WHMIS training.
Image Source: whmis.org
What does properly labeling mean?
When a supplier labels a product, he has to include certain information. Depending on the product, labels must include:
- Product identifier, with names of the brand, chemical, trade names, common name, and generic name.
- Supplier identifier, with the name, address and telephone number of the Canadian manufacturer or importer.
- Pictograms, to indicate a hazard classification.
- Signal words, like “Danger”, to indicate the severity of the hazard and alert the reader about it.
- Hazard statements, to describe the nature of the hazard.
- Precautionary Statements, which indicates what measures must take to minimize or prevent adverse effects that could result from the exposure to the product.
What pictograms can found in labels?
Pictograms are a very important part of labels because they indicating what type of hazard is present when manipulating a product. Pictograms are graphic images that consist of a symbol inside of a red border. Here is the list of WHMIS Symbols.
Image Source: westernsafetysign.com
WHMIS 2015 establishes which WHMIS symbols will use in labels and their meaning. These include pictograms that indicate flammable, oxidizing, corrosive, toxic, self-reactive and infectious products and gases under pressure and health hazards.
It is important that employers and employees receive adequate education to understand each symbol and hazard category and to be able to identify them just by looking at them.