Elements of WHMIS Supplier Labels

A WHMIS supplier label answers the 5 fundamental questions you need to know to work safely with a product: 

  1. What is the product? 
  2. What are the hazards? 
  3. How do I work safely with the product? 
  4. What if there is an emergency?  
  5. Where do I find more information?

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What Should Workers Do Before Using a Product? 

  • Check if there is a label on the product before you use it. 
  • Review the instructions on the label and SDS
  • Follow any additional training as provided by your employer. 
  • Ask your supervisor if you are not sure about how to use a product. 
  • Ask your supervisor for a new label if the old label is unreadable. 

5 Fundamental Questions to Ask When Working with a Hazardous Product 

1. What is the Product? 

You can better understand the product you are using by looking for the following elements on the WHMIS supplier label: 

  • Product identifier: Name of the Hazardous Product. Must be an exact match to the SDS. 
  • Signal word: 'Danger' or 'Warning' is used to emphasize hazards and indicate severity of the product. Danger is more severe. 

2. What are the hazards? 

You can better understand the hazards of a product by looking for the following elements on the WHMIS supplier label: 

  • Pictograms: Hazard symbol(s) to identify the hazards of the product. 
  • Hazard statement: Describes the physical and health hazards posed by the hazardous product. 

3. How do I work with the Product? & 4. What if There is an Emergency? 

You can determine how to work with a product by reading the precautionary statement on the WHMIS supplier label. The precautionary statement describes measures to be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous product (first aid) or resulting from improper handling or storage of a hazardous product (spill or fire). 

5. Where Do I Find More Information?  

To find more information, look for the supplier identifier, which shows the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer or importer. 

Note: supplemental information may be required based on the classification of the product. For example, the percentage of an ingredient in a product or ingredients with unknown toxicity.