Occupational Risk and WHMIS
No occupation is without its risk. Any job anywhere in the world – Canada included, of course – has a certain degree of risk. Medical, emergency rescue, and law enforcement jobs are among the top risky occupations in the world. However, a special category for risky occupations are workers who handle hazardous materials. Hazardous materials or HAZMAT can usually be found as byproducts (waste) from factories but they are also used during the manufacturing process of certain products. Handling these substances requires extensive training on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
What is WHMIS?
WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is used all over Canada to regulate how hazardous materials are handled in the country. The system is made up of three major concepts: (1) labeling, (2) data sheets, and (3) worker training. This is enforced all over Canada by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, especially the third major concept – which is worker training.
All HAZMAT containers are required to have labels, provided by the supplier (the source of the hazardous materials). The label needs to have specific information on it, 7 items to be exact: (1) name of product, (2) supplier, (3) reference to the data sheet (more about this below), (4) hazard symbol/s, (5) risk statements (e.g. eye irritant, causes burns), (6) precautionary instructions, and (7) first aid measures. If the product is small – less than 100 ml – only the first items can be part of the label.
A material safety data sheet accompanies each HAZMAT container and the handler. It has additional information about the product, its hazards, and details the emergency response system in case an accident should occur. The handler of the container should keep this safe or near his/her person.
Different health acts and bylaws govern Canada (and Mississauga) and WHMIS training, but generally speaking All business that handle hazardous materials need to train its workers in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. A number of staff members need to be certified and the others can just receive in-house WHMIS training.
The program focuses on teaching trainees about the hazard symbols and classification of HAZMAT used in Canada. Understanding how these things work together with the data information sheets is one of the most important things a trainee who works with HAZMAT use in his/her occupation.
WHMIS training at Mississauga First Aid can be taken as a classroom or an online course. Both have six units/modules worth of lectures and laboratory sessions but their fees and program lengths are different. Classroom WHMIS training is four hours long and costs 49.99 dollars while online WHMIS training is three hours long and costs 29.99 dollars.
WHMIS Certification is awarded to trainees who complete the program with 100 percent attendance and passing grades of 80 percent or higher on the tests. There are short quizzes at the end of each unit or module plus the final exam at the end of training. Credentials for this program do not expire and there are no refreshers for WHMIS training.
Enroll in a program today!