What Does WHMIS Stand For?

What does WHMIS stand for?

WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.

You recognized that some objects in the workplace have warning labels in them such as flammable or fragile. Those warning labels fall under WHMIS. WHMIS allows information regarding hazardous products to be shared amongst workers and employers. It is also a national law and standard in Canada. WHMIS is another term for Hazard Communication or HazCom.

Every employee has a right to know what hazards they could potentially be exposed to; how to recognize those hazards; and what to do in case a hazardous situation arises. WHMIS applies to manufacturers, distributors, importers, and employers.

WHMIS / HazCom Delivery

WHMIS has three main ways on how to share information about hazardous products:

  1. Labels – are attached to the hazardous product. The label contains images or pictograms, precautionary and hazard statements, manufacturer information, signal words, and the identity of the product.
  2. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – details the hazards, hazardous products, how to handle them safely, and the hazard classes. The hazard classes are Health, Physical, and Environmental.
  3. Education and Training Programs – help workers to understand how WHMIS works and how to apply it in the workplace, the hazardous products, and the purpose of labels and safety data sheets.


Every worker will have to encounter or use a hazardous product in the workplace. No matter how experienced you are on handling such products, being trained on WHMIS helps raise your awareness and safety. For more specific details regarding WHMIS and the delivery methods of WHMIS, we invite you to look over our Hazard Communication training. Following WHMIS or Hazard Communication standards will help you use those hazardous products safely. Good luck and stay safe!

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