What is WHMIS?
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, or WHMIS, is a legislation in Canada designed to standardize the hazards communications system. WHMIS trains employees on how to properly handle, store, produce or dispose hazardous material in their work environment.
The legislation took effect on October 31, 1988 and anyone who completes this training receives a WHMIS certificate.
Does WHMIS Training Expire?
There is no current legislation mandating workers to complete WHMIS training more than once. Since there’s no law stating how many times WHMIS training must be carried out, some companies only conduct it once. However, depending on the policies of an organization, employees may be required to complete WHMIS training at regular intervals.
Even if there’s no expiry date for a WHMIS certification, there are several reasons why you should complete WHMIS training at least once a year.
3 Reasons Why You Should Complete WHMIS Training Once A Year
Here are 3 reasons why your company would benefit from annual WHMIS training:
Easy Identification & Control of Hazards
Hazards tend to evolve just like any other factor in a work environment. With annual WHMIS training, employees can easily spot hazards in a workplace and report them to management. This is especially important when new materials and processes are introduced which create new hazards.
Information on Protective Gear for Operating in Unsafe Environments
Since hazards evolve as materials and processes in the workplace change, protective equipment to mitigate such dangers could become outdated. Frequent WHMIS training provides correct information that helps employers and employees assure proper protection against hazards.
Emergency Response to Potentially Dangerous Situations
Prompt responses to emergencies make the difference between avoiding severe consequences and having a fatal accident. This can save your business massive sums of operating expenses. With annual WHMIS training, employees have ample information to manage an emergency while taking steps to mitigate losses.
Dangers of Not Completing WHMIS Training Annually
Working without WHMIS re-training for two years or more could lead to significant losses and workers injuries or illnesses, especially if they become complacent in their safety practices.
Increased Risk of Employee Injuries or Illness
Whenever a new chemical or piece of machinery is needed for operations, added training becomes necessary. WHMIS training provides employees the knowledge to operate safely and respond to some emergencies.
If workers don’t get frequent training on WHMIS best practices, they can become more exposed to illness or injury. Also, workers that have to work with chemical substances may fall ill due to shortage of information.
Inadequate Hazard Management for Employees
Employees that have to work for two years or more without updated WHMIS training are exposed to workplace risks. Apart from being exposed to several harmful substances in the workplace, outdated WHMIS training makes hazard management less effective.
Regular WHMIS training is a major component of safely working in challenging environments while mitigating risk.
What Kind of WHMIS Re-Training Works Best – Full Review or Basics?
The kind of WHMIS re-training your business needs depends on the following factors:
- Your industry (construction, manufacturing, etc.)
- Potential exposure to harmful substances
- Type of chemicals and extent of exposure to such substances in the workplace, etc.
With these factors, it becomes easy to map out a WHMIS training that is a perfect fit your workplace.
Advanced Consulting & Training – WHMIS Course
Employees need to undergo WHMIS training every twelve (12) months to keep up with best practices and run operations smoothly.
Frequent WHMIS training helps workers navigate their work environment safely, especially in a hazardous workspace. The type of WHMIS re-training your staff needs depend on a range of factors. Tailor the training program your employees need every year and maintain fluid operations with worker safety assured.