Understanding the Changes to WHMIS 2015 and Implementing GHS in Canada

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of ChemicalsAfter many years of discussion Canada is aligning the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the international standard of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The old WHMIS will be known as WHMIS 1988 and the updated WHMIS with GHS will be called WHMIS 2015. Click to see a comparison chart of WHMIS 1988 vs. WHMIS 2015.

The final Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) were published on February 11, 2015 in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The provinces across Canada are rolling out their WHMIS legislation. Employers will need to be fully transitioned to WHMIS 2015 by Dec. 1, 2018.

Click to see a timeline for the WHMIS transition.

What do I need to do as an employer?

Under WHMIS 2015, employers will continue to:

  • Educate and train workers on the hazards and safe use of products
  • Ensure that hazardous products (formerly Controlled Products) are properly labelled
  • Prepare workplace labels and safety data sheets (SDSs formerly MSDSs) as necessary
  • Provide access for workers to up-to-date SDSs and labels

 Click to see a WHMIS 2015 implementation checklist.

What do my workers need to be informed on?

GHS has the following significant changes that are different to WHMIS 2015:

  • Controlled Products are now called Hazardous Products
  • Different Hazard Classes and more of them.
  • Different Classification of Chemicals New Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) with 16-sections
  • No requirement to update SDSs every 3 years (some provinces like BC under WHMIS 2015 require employers to check with the supplier that they have the most current SDS for the product).
  • New Supplier Labels
  • New Pictograms Click to see a PDF of the new WHMIS 2015 pictograms.

Chemscape WHMIS Online Training Course



WHMIS 2015 with GHS is a comprehensive online course authored by Chemscape that covers all the essential elements of the new WHMIS 2015 with GHS.  Contact us Toll Free at 1-855-720-6737 or by email sales@chemscape.com to learn more about our GHS Transition Solutions and getting your workers WHMIS and GHS certified.

"When I reviewed Chemscape's course it was significantly better than our current provider's. It is important to have people engaged in their chemical handling training. It is important stuff! Chemscape's course is interactive, keeps the student engaged with some humour and has voice and written text so it can be learnt by a variety of learning styles."  Robert Whitten, Port of Halifax