Chemical Safety

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

WHMIS is a system for providing information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in workplace. Information is provided by means of product labels, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and employee education programs.

Controlled products is the name given to products, materials and substances that are regulated by WHMIS legislation and all controlled products fall into one or more of six WHMIS classes.

Hazard Symbols

Class A Compressed Gas

Class B Combustible & Flammable Material

Class C Oxidizing Material

Class D Division 1 Poisonous & Infectious Material: Immediate and Serious Toxic Effects

Class D, Division 2 Poisonous & Infectious Material: Other Toxic Effects

Class D, Division 3 Poisonous & Infectious Material: Biohazardous Infectious Material

Class E Corrosive Material

Class F Dangerously Reactive Material

Emily Carr will ensure that the proper supplier labels have been applied to a container of a controlled product when it is received at the workplace. Unlabeled or improperly labeled controlled products must not be handled or used. Management may keep them in storage until the proper label and MSDS is obtained.

How Does WHMIS Work?

WHMIS uses federal and provincial legislation to deal with both supplier and worksite responsibilities.

Suppliers must identify hazardous materials and put hazard information of the product labels. Additional information is supplied on MSDS, which provide detailed information on a controlled product, its hazards and how to handle it safely.

The program is intended to protect you and help prevent injuries or illnesses caused by exposure to chemicals.


If you are working with or around hazardous materials on campus, you MUST ensure that you complete the online WHMIS Training Progam:

WHMIS Training

You can protect yourself from hazardous materials if you:

  • follow all safety rules and instructions
  • learn the facts and know how to use the information on hazards as outlined in current MSDS
  • use the right personal protective equipment
  • know what to do in an emergency (eg. Know where the emergency eyewash stations are located)
  • ask your supervisor for help if you do not understand something or do not know what to do.