Here are eight fun and surprising facts that you might not have known about the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS):
1. WHMIS is a Canadian Invention.
WHMIS was developed right here in Canada. It became a crucial part of workplace safety regulations not only in Canada and inspired similar systems around the world!
2. Hazardous Materials in Canada Require Bilingual Labels.
All WHMIS labels and safety data sheets must be bilingual, with information provided in both English and French, reflecting Canada's official languages.
3. The Pictograms Tell a Story.
WHMIS uses pictograms. These symbols provide quick visual clues about the hazards of a product, making it accessible and simple for Canadian workers to understand potential dangers.
4. WHMIS wasn't always aligned with the GHS.
In 2015, WHMIS underwent a HUGE update to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This change means that anyone who has completed WHMIS training should understand hazard communication around the world.
5. WHMIS is about employee rights.
WHMIS ensures that Canadian workers have the right to know about the hazardous materials they work with. This right helps protect employees by providing them with the knowledge they need to stay safe on the job.
6. WHMIS is also about employer responsibility.
Employers are responsible for providing WHMIS training to their workers. Safety education ensures that employees understand the hazards they may encounter as well as how to protect themselves and others.
7. WHMIS is everything everywhere all at once.
WHMIS applies to a wide range of industries and workplaces. From manufacturing plants to laboratories to offices, WHMIS training is essential wherever hazardous materials are present.
8. WHMIS is constantly evolving.
WHMIS continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of workplaces and to align with global standards. Staying informed about these changes is essential for both employers and employees.
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