WHMIS 2015

Since 1988 Canada has been using the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) as our hazard communication system. As of February 2015 WHMIS has changed. In today’s blog post we outline the changes in WHMIS 2015, the differences between WHMIS 1988 and 2015, and what this means for Breakaway Staffing associates.

All WHMIS information in today’s post comes from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Visit their WHMIS 2015 page here for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

WHMIS 2015

WHMIS 2015

In 2015, WHMIS changed to adopt new international standards for classifying hazardous chemicals and providing information on labels and safety data sheets.

These new standards are endorsed by the United Nations and are part of the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

These changes to WHMIS are being phased in across Canada between February 2015 and December 2018. During this transition phase Canadian workers are required to be trained on both 1988 and 2015 WHMIS.

What Are the Differences Between WHMIS 1988 & WHMIS 2015?

Under WHMIS 2015:

  • Controlled products are called hazardous products
  • There are new rules for classifying hazardous workplace chemicals
  • There are new label requirements, including pictograms instead of symbols that correspond to hazard classes
  • There is a different format for safety data sheets
How Does WHIMS 2015 Improve Health & Safety?

WHMIS had remained largely unchanged since 1988. The 2015 changes will help by:

  • Providing more comprehensive and detailed criteria  for classifying chemicals which will make it easier for suppliers to indicate the severity of hazards
  • Addressing hazard properties of chemicals that are not addressed in WHMIS 1988
  • Providing standardized language on labels and safety data sheets that will make information easier to find
  • Providing more comprehensive information requirements for safety data sheets which will allow workers and employers to have access to a broader range of hazard information
  • Creating new pictograms that are easier to understand than their old symbols which will improve hazard communication
What Does This Mean for Breakaway Staffing Associates?

All Breakaway associates must be trained on the new criteria and requirements of WHMIS 2015. For new associates this process will be completed upon signup with our agency. If you are already working for us you will be required to come into our office to complete the mandatory training to ensure you are compliant with WHMIS 2015. A representative from our office will be in touch to arrange a time for you to come in to complete the training.

If you have any additional questions please visit:

The Ministry of Labour’s WHMIS 2015 FAQ page


Health Canada WHMIS page

or call Breakaway at (905)564-9671, we are happy to answer any questions you may have!