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WHMIS 2015

Changes to Transition Period

On May 19, 2017, the Federal Government announced the following changes to the time frame for transitioning to the new WHMIS 2015 system:

  • Phase 2 extended to June 2018   
  • Phase 3 extended to September 2018

The objective of these changes is to provide additional time for Health Canada to consult with industry (Suppliers) how to implement certain requirements for compliance with the new WHMIS system without causing undue financial and time-consuming burdens to Suppliers.

The target date of December 1, 2018 for full implementation of WHMIS 2015 by all stakeholder has not changed.

WHMIS 2015

Work site inspections

Under the OHS Act, WHMIS 2015 is enforced by provincial and territorial Health & Safety Agencies (Ministry or Departments of Labour). Compliance with provincial legislation is enforced by OHS Inspectors who are authorized to conduct work site inspections or other enforcement measures such as:

  • issuing orders
  • writing tickets, or
  • issuing administrative penalties.


Inspections are usually carried out without prior notification. Employers and workers are required to cooperate with OHS Inspectors and provide identification when asked.

They should be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Is a WHMIS program in place?

  • Are education & training records available?

  • Where are SDSs stored?

  • Are hazardous products labelled appropriately?


Inspectors may also want to interview workers to confirm that education and training has taken place. Workers might be asked to answer questions about hazardous products they work with, such as:

  • What are the hazards of the product?
  • How do you protect yourself from those hazards?
  • What to do in case of an emergency?
  • Where can you get further information?