The WHMIS label is one of the ways used to convey chemical hazard information to users of the product. WHMIS law requires labels for hazardous products. Labels must identify the precautions to take when using the product and state that there is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) available with more detailed information. Suppliers, employers and sometimes workers are all responsible for labelling products.
There are two different types of labels used in WHMIS:
- the supplier label,
- the workplace label.
The supplier label requires more information as outlined below.
A supplier label must appear on all hazardous products received at workplaces in Canada (if over 100 mL in volume) and must be legible, durable and contain the following information:
- product identifier (usually name of product)
- supplier identifier (name of company that manufactured or sold it)
- a statement that a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is available
- hazard symbols
- risk phrases (words that describe the main hazards of the product)
- precautionary measures (how to work with the product safely)
- first aid measures (what to do if exposed to the product)
Supplier labels must have:
- all text in English and French
- the distinctive WHMIS hatched border (shown here).
A workplace label must appear on all hazardous products in the following situations:
- for products produced on site
- when the product is transferred from one container to another
- when workers are unable to read English or French
- to replace labels that have been lost or damaged during transport
The workplace label must contain:
- product identifier (usually product name)
- information for the safe handling of the product
- statement that the MSDS is available
Workplace labels may contain the WHMIS hazard symbols but this is not a requirement.
Never assume you know what it is.
Ask your teacher or supervisor to identify the contents and create a workplace label before using the product.
> Chemical Hazards > WHMIS Labels