The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's national standard for communicating information about hazardous workplace products.

WHMIS is incorporated into the Occupational Health and Safety Act and is law in the province of Ontario. This legislation states that if you work with, or in proximity to controlled products, the employer must ensure the information you need to work safely with those hazardous products is available to you and understood.

See the WHMIS 2015 Program for more information.


All University of Waterloo employees are required to complete the WHMIS 2015 (SO2017) online training module. 

Chemical labelling

Supplier labels:

Laboratories are required to have legible supplier labels on the original chemical container as per WHMIS 2015. If your laboratory has chemicals with labels that have not yet been updated, contact chemsafety@uwaterloo.ca to start this process.

Workplace labels:

Workplace labels are required when a hazardous substance is created in the lab or transferred from a supplier container to another container. The exception to this rule is if the material is immediately used up upon creation or transfer.

The Safety Office provides two Avery templates that can be used for workplace labels. If using the printable template labels, laboratories must use at a minimum water-resistant permanent adhesive labels to reduce the chance of label damage.

For more information, refer to the How to Fill Out a WHMIS Workplace Label document.

Additional resources and information