What is WHMIS?

In this short video, Mike will be explaining the WHMIS system as well as the primary changes to WHMIS legislation that were introduced in 2015.




Hi I’m Mike. Today we are going to talk about a control program for hazardous chemicals. The letters “WHMIS” can be pronounced “whim-is”, and these letters stand for “Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System”. WHMIS makes it easier to get the information you need so you can recognize and protect yourself from a chemical hazard.

WHMIS was first introduced in 1988, and it was a system that identified hazardous chemicals with symbols in a round label, a supplier label or a workplace label, and a material safety data sheet or “MSDS” that had 9 sections of information.

In 2015 WHMIS changed and these pictograms replaced the round labels. The supplier label was changed, but the workplace label stayed the same. Finally, a safety data sheet or “SDS” with 16 sections of information replaced the MSDS.

WHMIS was updated to introduce the “GHS” and that stands for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. Now countries all over the world use the same system to identify hazardous chemicals.

If you are working with or near to a hazardous chemical, you should complete a WHMIS 2015 course. Not WHMIS 2018, or 2019, or 2020. WHMIS 2015 is the only WHMIS training you need. There are no other versions.

Thanks for watching.


Published: October 7, 2020
Last Modified: October 7, 2020