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Information on WHMIS 2015 can be found on the CCOHS Website 

Graphic showing the new WHMIS 2015 symbols

What is the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)?

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is a comprehensive, legislated program that ensures your "right to know" about the hazardous materials you are working with.

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

The WHMIS regulations have specific requirements for suppliers, employers and workers.

WHMIS training is online at University of Waterloo and the training is valid for 5 years, after which time UWaterloo students/employees must re-take the WHMIS training.

Online modules for WHMIS can be found under the training programs page.


Anyone who manufactures, imports, distributes, repackages or sells controlled products as defined by the Hazardous Products Act and Controlled Products Regulations must:

  • Determine which of their products are "controlled products"
  • Assess applicable health and safety information, and
  • Transmit/obtain or prepare the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and apply a label as a condition of sale/importation


That purchase, use, deploy, manufacture or dispose of controlled products must:

  • Ensure that all controlled products on site are properly labelled and current MSDS are readily available to workers
  • Provide WHMIS worker education and training and to apply appropriate workplace control measures to ensure the health and safety of workers


Who use, handle, dispose or are exposed to controlled products must:

  • Participate in the education and training programs on controlled products
  • Take necessary steps to protect themselves and their co-workers, and
  • Participate in identifying and eliminating risks

Examples of controlled products at Waterloo

Controlled products are found in every work/study area at UWaterloo, including offices, laboratories and corridors. Controlled products include:

  • Portable fire extinguishers
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Most aerosol cans (such as "Dust-Off, "WD-40", etc.)
  • Gas cylinders (helium tanks, etc.)

Under University of Waterloo policy 34 - Health, Safety and Environment, the University insists on compliance with legislative requirements and regulations. UWaterloo endeavours to apply the legislation equally to students and employees.