WHMIS 2015 Transition

Deadline for New (WHMIS) 2015 Regulation

As of December 1, 2018, all employers in Canada must be compliant with the New WHMIS 2015 Regulations. This update to Canada's WHMIS Regulations ensures alignment with the worldwide hazard communication system known as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

​What does this mean for the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)?

It means:

1. All UPEI hazardous products have to be classified to comply with WHMIS 2015 regulations. WHMIS 1988 had six Hazard Classes with three Divisions. Now WHMIS 2015 has 32 Hazard Classes with Multiple Hazard Categories.

2. All UPEI hazardous products must be labeled according to WHMIS 2015. A workplace label must:

  • Identify the product;
  • Provide information on the safe handling of the product,
  • Indicate that a Safety Data Sheet is available. 

A workplace label must be affixed to any product that has been decanted into a smaller container for use. Containers of 100 ml or less must have their product identified, but do not have to have precautionary or hazard statements on the label. Containers of 3 ml or less can have a removable label (if such a label will interfere with normal use of the product). WHMIS 1988 had eight symbols within a black circle. The New WHMIS 2015 has nine pictograms within a red square oriented on one of its points and one pictogram within a black circle (biohazardous infectious materials).

3. All UPEI hazardous products require new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to comply with WHMIS 2015. WHMIS 1988 had Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with nine required sections and they had to be updated every three years. The New WHMIS 2015 requires SDSs with 16 required sections and these SDSs have to be updated as required.

4. UPEI Online WHMIS training already complies with the new WHMIS 2015 regulations. All UPEI staff, faculty, graduate students, and student employees are required to complete WHMIS 2015 training.

5. An inventory of all biological, chemical or physical agents used, produced or otherwise present at the workplace that may be hazardous to the occupational health or safety of workers will be maintained. It is strongly encouraged all departments, faculties, labs, researchers and other areas that handle, use, store or dispose of hazardous products on campus start the transition as soon as possible by completing inventories, classifying, labeling, and updating MSDSs to SDSs on all your hazardous products in respective areas of responsibility. 

Please contact a Health, Safety, and Environment team member at hse@upei.ca if you have any questions.

WHMIS 2015 Training

WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. There are two components to UPEI’s WHMIS training program. 

Component 1 – General WHMIS Course: Online WHMIS Training that all UPEI faculty, staff, graduate students, and student employees are required to complete online every two years. 

  • Orientation Course: WHMIS 2015 Orientation

  • Refresher Course (every 2 years after Orientation): WHMIS 2015 Refresher

  • Supervisors and Managers must also take: WHMIS 2015 for Supervisors 

​​​Orientation and Refresher Training 
WHMIS Supervisory Training

Need help to log into the online WHMIS training program?

WHMIS login instructions for UPEI employees

Component 2 – Job-specific Training: This training is to occur after component 1 – General WHMIS Course (online) is completed. This training is provided by individual supervisors to those that report to them and must include the following:

  • Procedures for safe, use, handling, storage, and disposal of the hazardous products the employee will be working with or may come into contact with

  • Procedures to be followed in an emergency situation

This training should be reviewed any time a new hazardous product is introduced to the job or work area, and also if a change occurs in the procedures related to a hazardous product. Supervisors are encouraged to document Component 2 training with a brief written summary including the date of training and the employee signature indicating they received training.

Work Place Labels

Hazardous Products Inventory

The Health, Safety and Environment Department will work with Faculties, Schools, Departments, Lab Coordinators, Supervisors, and Principal Investigators to create an inventory of on-campus hazardous products including product locations per WHMIS 2015 requirements. This inventory is a key piece of UPEI’s hazardous product management program and emergency response preparedness. 

This inventory will be updated on an annual or biannual basis through correspondence and verification with Supervisors in each area. An inventory spreadsheet template can be found below for completion while verifying WHMIS 2015 labeling and SDS requirements for hazardous products in your area. Once you have completed the inventory spreadsheet for your area please submit to hse@upei.ca to be included in the campus inventory. 

Please note: The biosafety inventory system for biohazardous materials will remain unchanged at this time.

​Additional Resources

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Workers Compensation Board of PEI (WCBPEI)

WHMIS.org - Canada's National WHMIS Portal

Safety Data Sheets

Many university departments require SDS information. It is the responsibility of each Area Leader to ensure that all the necessary Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all the WHMIS regulated Hazardous products are readily accessible to anyone that handles, uses, stores or disposes of these materials in the work areas they are responsible for in the workplace. It is also the responsibility of each Area Leader to ensure that a current inventory of all toxic substances is maintained to comply with section 32 of the OHS Act of PEI.”  The Health, Safety and Environment Department (HSE) has completed an initial inventory of all hazardous products for each specific area on an excel spreadsheet (master list) and the expectation is that at least annually each Area Leader will ensure that an updated spreadsheet is submitted to the HSE department so that a master list is maintained for the entire campus.

Find links to online databases, Health Canada's information, and various chemical suppliers' websites here.

SDS Links

Chemical Suppliers and SDS Information