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WHMIS is an acronym for: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

WHMIS is a Canada-wide system to provide employers and workers with information about the hazardous materials they work with on the job to protect their health and safety.

WHMIS gives everyone in the workplace the right to know about the hazards of materials used in the workplace. It does this by means of:

  • Labels on containers of hazardous materials
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), providing further detailed information
  • Worker training on how to use this information, which is reviewed and updated every year

Class A- Compressed Gas

Class B- Flammable and Combustible Material

Class C- Oxidizing Material

Class D-1- Poisonous and Infectious Material
(material causing immediate and serious effects)

Class D-2- Poisonous and Infectious Material
(material causing other toxic effects)

Class D-3- Poisonous and Infectious Material
(Biohazardous Infectious Material)

Class E- Corrosive Material


Class F- Dangerously Reactive Material

Source: WHIMIS Classes, Divisions and Subdivisions and Corresponding Hazard symbols, Health Canada, Internet publication date 2004-10-01 http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/occup-travail/whmis-simdut/symbol/index_e.html. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006.

Learn more about WHIMIS.

Workplace Label Contents

Labeling of controlled products is a basic requirement which includes:

A Product Identifier- Gives the common name, chemical name, trade name, generic name, brand name, code name, or code number of a controlled product

Safe Handling Instructions- Provides Information and instructions for the safe handling of a controlled product

A Statement Indicating that a "Material Safety Data Sheet" is Available A statement indicating that the MSDS is available and present in an appropriate place in a physical copy form that can be handled