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Employer Alert: High-Pressure Sales Tactics Providing Misleading Information About Workplace WHMIS Training

  • Issued: June 15, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: June 2015

The Ministry of Labour has recently received reports and complaints about aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics by some private providers of Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) training. These companies imply they are working with the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry of Labour is not working with any private supplier of WHMIS training and does not endorse or approve specific training providers.

Workplace Hazardous Material Information System

WHMIS is a Canada-wide system of interlocking federal, provincial and territorial legislation, existing since 1988 concerning hazardous materials used in the workplace. On February 11, 2015, the federal government proclaimed amendments to the Hazardous Products Act and Hazardous Product Regulations. The provinces and territories are in the process of amending their WHMIS regulations ensuring a consistent approach across Canada for the labelling and use of hazardous materials.

Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulation 860/90 (WHMIS) set out the duties of employer with respect to hazardous materials. Certain employers in Ontario are required to identify hazardous materials, ensure that proper data sheets on the materials are available, ensure containers are properly labelled and make sure that employees are properly trained in the safe handling, storage and use of the hazardous materials.

The Act requires an annual review, but not annual training in WHMIS. The review must be done in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative (if the workplace has one) and is meant to identify whether updating of the education program and retraining of workers are necessary.

A review is also required if the conditions at the workplace have changed or new information on a controlled product becomes available.

For more information call the Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre:
Toll-free, 1-877-202-0008.