The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is a comprehensive program that helps to protect workers from the potential risks associated with handling hazardous materials in the workplace. In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires employers to provide workers with the necessary training and information to handle hazardous materials safely. This article will outline some of the key worker responsibilities under WHMIS in Ontario.
One of the key responsibilities of workers under WHMIS is to understand the basics of the program. This includes understanding the different types of hazardous materials, the hazards they pose, and the appropriate measures to take when handling these materials. Workers should also be familiar with the WHMIS labeling system, which is used to identify and classify hazardous materials.
Under the OHSA, employers are required to provide workers with the necessary training to handle hazardous materials safely. This training should include information on the hazards associated with the specific materials being used, as well as the appropriate measures to take to protect oneself from these hazards. Workers should also be trained on the proper use and handling of any personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be required when working with hazardous materials.
Using WHMIS Labels
Workers are responsible for using WHMIS labels to identify and classify hazardous materials. This includes understanding the information provided on the labels, such as the product name, supplier information, and hazard symbols. Workers should also be familiar with the different types of labels, including supplier labels and workplace labels, and know how to properly use and interpret them.
Following Safety Procedures
Workers are responsible for following the safety procedures put in place by their employer to protect themselves and others from the hazards associated with hazardous materials. This may include following safe work practices, such as wearing the appropriate PPE and properly storing and disposing of hazardous materials. Workers should also be aware of any emergency procedures in place, such as what to do in the event of a spill or other accident.
Reporting Hazards and Incidents
Workers are responsible for reporting any hazards or incidents involving hazardous materials to their supervisor. This includes reporting any spills, leaks, or other accidents, as well as any unsafe practices or conditions that may put workers at risk. By reporting these hazards, workers can help to prevent injuries and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to address any potential risks.
Participating in WHMIS Programs
Workers are also responsible for participating in their employer’s WHMIS program. This may include attending training sessions, participating in safety meetings, and staying up to date with any changes to the program. By participating in the program, workers can help to ensure that they are properly trained and equipped to handle hazardous materials safely.
Workers have a number of important responsibilities under WHMIS in Ontario. By understanding the program, receiving appropriate training, using WHMIS labels, following safety procedures, reporting hazards and incidents, and participating in the WHMIS program, workers can help to protect themselves and others from the potential risks associated with hazardous materials in the workplace.