Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Studio Technicians are responsible for supervising students’ safe use of equipment, materials and chemicals in Print Media. Part of this responsibility includes ensuring that the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulations are followed. All workers have a right to know about the hazards of chemicals used in their workplace. And while students are not workers, they too should know about the hazards of chemicals they use in the studio.
Students should be aware that throughout the Institute, materials are purchased according to the following guiding principle: one buys the least toxic material available which is capable of doing the job. Please appreciate that purchasing the safest material available takes a great deal of ongoing research (keeping abreast of new scientific information on the hazards of chemicals and awareness of new products and technologies as they become available in the marketplace) on the part of the Studio Technician and your Faculty. Such research is undertaken to protect the health and safety of everyone.
Therefore, any student bringing materials into Print Media must first inform the Studio Technician so she can determine that the products are safe to use in the workplace. This is particularly important with Consumer Products. Many Consumer Products contain chemicals that may cause adverse health effects upon exposure.
The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada’s national hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are cautionary labelling of containers of WHMIS “controlled products”, the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and worker education and training programs.
This general education section of WHMIS is provided by the Studio Technician in Print Media. It involves understanding the principles of WHMIS and the meaning of the information on labels and material safety data sheets (MSDSs). This includes such information as storage, handling, disposal and personal protection.
Specific training, e.g., procedures for handling specific chemicals and personal protection needed is provided during demonstrations in class at a later date. Following the WHMIS educational session there will be a quiz. Students are expected to take this quiz and pass it before work in the studio commences.