What is WHMIS?


By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email

This is a question we receive quite often and in the 21 years that I have been doing ‘WHMIS’ for my clients. I find that it is one of the most commonly inaccurately spelled acronyms. WHMIS stands for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.

Many write WHIMIS, WHMS, or WHIMS, but this is incorrect.  WHMIS is the national hazard communication standard that we use in Canada.  There are some key elements to the system:

  • Hazard Classification
  • Cautionary labeling of containers
  • The requirement for a SDS (Safety Data Sheet). Note that the old terminology is MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
  • Worker Education and Training

If you have any questions regarding WHMIS requirements in Canada, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you understand the current requirements, help you with the hazard classification, label requirements, SDS requirements, and worker education and training.  We now offer a new service to our clients: WHMIS training. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact us.

Dell Tech
Kirsten Alcock, B.Sc. (Hons) 
Manager, Product Safety Group

Dell Tech has provided professional, confidential consulting services to the chemical specialty

industry in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia for the last 40 years.

Contact us today for more information.



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whmisglobally harmonized system