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The responsibilities of employer and employees for safety against hazardous materials

The Canadian government is very serious about the safety of professionals working in an industry where they come across hazardous materials or harmful chemicals on regular basis. For this, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) has been implemented, which is aimed to help workers stay secure at the workplace. While it is important for employers to arrange WHMIS training online for their workers, it is very important to understand that there are certain responsibilities of employers and employees to ensure a safe working environment. So, let’s have a look at the responsibilities you need to understand.

What is WHMIS?

Before we jump to the part where we try to understand the responsibilities of the employers and employees, it is important to have good knowledge about WHMIS, which is Canada’s national hazard communication standard. The goal of WHMIS is to ensure the safety of professionals who are working with hazardous materials or harmful chemicals on regular basis. There are three main components of the WHMIS training:

  • Hazard identification and product classification
  • Product labeling
  • Safety data sheets management

Responsibilities of employers

  • It is mandatory for employers to implement, review and update the WHMIS training program on regular basis to ensure that the workers are equipped with the latest industry guidelines and safety measures.
  • Identify the workplace areas or tasks where WHMIS safe work procedures are required. All the employees working in those regions or performing particular tasks must have a WHMIS certificate to prevent any kind of trouble or accident due to improper use of hazardous materials or harmful chemicals.
  • Every employer must ensure that the workers are provided with the right type of safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) so that the workers stay safe even in case of an emergency situation.
  • Offering the updated WHMIS training program as per the industry guidelines so that the workers are having updated knowledge about various aspects like labeling the containers and following proper safety measures at work.
  • Provide enough time for employees to take part in the WHMIS training and get a WHMIS certificate without any delay.

Responsibilities of Employees

  • Taking part in the WHMIS training online training programs and paying attention to the information being provided. This ensures that the workers are equipped with the knowledge required for proper safety at the workplace. Each employee must understand the seriousness of the training program and hence should be part of the campaign.
  • Ensure to follow all the safety guidelines and comply with the safe work procedures for working with harmful chemicals such as always labeling the correct way, having proper knowledge about the chemical if unsure, changing the labels with the correct ones, only using the products or containers with the right type of labeling.

So, when you are in an industry where hazardous chemicals are used quite often, make sure to properly understand your responsibilities so that proper workplace safety can be ensured as per the industry guidelines. Apart from this, it also helps businesses stay away from any kind of legal penalty.

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