Yukon (Canada) officials recently reported that they had adopted the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System 2015 (WHMIS/2015), a harmonized chemical labeling and classification system used around the world.
This updated system replaces WHMIS 1988 and ensures the area’s chemical labeling and classifications match those used by its trade partners.
The new labeling is reportedly easier to understand for workers of all backgrounds and languages, which will broaden and improve workplace safety.
“This harmonized safety system represents an impressive collaboration/between the territories, provinces and the federal government to implement a new international standard,” Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board Minister Mike Nixon said. “Through it, safety will be improved, there will be less paperwork and cross-border trade will be made easier.”
Employers are responsible for educating and training workers in the new system. They have three years to be fully compliant with the new rules, which will be in full effect as of Dec. 1, 2018.
While there are changes to classification criteria and some new hazard classes, the existing roles and responsibilities of suppliers, employers and workers remain virtually the same as they were under WHMIS 1988.
Workers must participate in WHMIS training.
Meantime, employers must educate workers and specifically train them how to handle all chemicals on their worksite. Hazardous products must be properly labeled.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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