The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) or Système d’information sur les matières dangereuses utilisées au travail (IMDUT) in French, is our national workplace hazard communication standard across Canada that came into effect on October 31, 1988. The Government of Canada modified WHMIS 1988 on February 11, 2015 by adopting a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS); the new modified version of the WHMIS system is called WHMIS 2015. The key elements of the system are: (I) cautionary labelling of containers of WHMIS controlled products, (II) the provision of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and (III) worker education and site-specific training programs.
University-wide WHMIS 2015 Compliance Program
All U of T laboratories must implement WHMIS compliance programs focusing on: labelling properly all hazardous materials, changing MSDS files to SDS files, and incorporating proper training of their workers and students. For more information please refer to the EHS Memo from April 24, 2019. All U of T laboratories working with, producing, or storing any hazardous materials will be inspected by the EHS Offices on compliance.
Please note, the WHMIS 2015 Compliance labels are available for each laboratory from the EHS Office. You can request labels for your lab on-line.
Mandatory EHS training modules for WHMIS 2015
The WHMIS and Lab Safety Training (course EHS101, refresher EHS112) is an online training course for those who work or study with or near hazardous materials in University wet labs. The course is a basic introduction to the labelling, training and safety data sheet SDS requirements of the WHMIS legislation (O.R.860). There is also an awareness component covering some of the chemical and general lab safety hazards that you might encounter.
A “My EHS training” profile is required to access all EHS courses. For more information, please visit our training page.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Access to the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) files has never been easier. The WHMIS 2015 regulation requires that every hazardous material that is produced, shipped, used or stored must be supplied with a SDS file. It is the responsibility of each person to review the SDS files prior to working with the material. Also, the SDS files must always be available at the workplace and be updated regularly. The on-line ChemWatch system allows anyone at the University instantly to get electronic access to a SDS file. You can use a reference to SDS files as a link: ehs.utoronto.ca/sds
Other EHS services