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Transitioning to WHMIS 2015

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is changing to adopt new international standards for classifying hazardous materials and providing information on labels and safety data sheets (SDS). This transition will affect all employees at the University of Waterloo and especially those working with chemicals and in labs.

The University must meet the following criteria by December 1, 2018, to comply with the new WHMIS standards:

  • All WHMIS training must be current to the new WHMIS 2015 standard.
  • All chemicals require WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets and supplier labels. Any chemicals you wish to keep that do not have WHMIS 2015 labelling/signage will require updated labelling by the December 1, 2018 deadline.

Failure to comply may result in penalties from the Ministry of Labour including work stoppages and fines.

Step 1

The Safety Office is working to support all Faculties and Departments through this transition. At this stage, it is important that supervisors complete the following actions.

  • Ensure all employees in your area have completed the WHMIS 2015 online training module.
  • Complete a chemical inventory either in erPortal or on an Excel spreadsheet by April 30, 2018.  If you use Excel, the Safety Office will load this information into erPortal. The erPortal user manual and an Excel template are available on the WHMIS 2015 transition webpage.
  • Dispose of all chemicals no longer needed or that have expired. Review the Hazardous Waste Standard for proper procedures. 
  • Contact suppliers to obtain WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets if a new product is received with WHMIS 2015 labels.
  • When purchasing new chemicals, purchase from suppliers already using WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets, if possible.

Visit the WHMIS 2015 transition webpage for more details on this transition.

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