Roles and responsibilities under WHMIS

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are:

Suppliers, employers and workers each have requirements under WHMIS.

Suppliers, defined as persons who, in the course of business, sell or import a hazardous product, must:

Employers must:

Workers must:

Roles for implementation

WHMIS is implemented through coordinated federal, provincial, and territorial legislation. This coordinated approach promotes efficiency and prevents the potential for interprovincial trade barriers.

Health Canada acts as the secretariat for this federal, provincial, and territorial government partnership system. WHMIS regulators also maintain regular consultative contact with key industry and organized labour stakeholders.

Health Canada administers the Hazardous Products Act and its regulations, which set labelling and SDS requirements for suppliers.

Each of the 13 provincial, territorial, and federal agencies responsible for occupational health and safety has established WHMIS requirements for employers within their respective jurisdictions. The Labour Program at Employment and Social Development Canada is responsible for workplaces under federal jurisdiction.

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