all controlled hazardous materials.
MSDS for all controlled materials.
is a comprehensive plan for providing information on the use
of controlled hazardous materials in the work place. There are
six classifications of WHMIS, several of which have divisions
Compressed Gases - Class A
- indicates a container with
pressure inside. If the container is damaged or dropped so as
to weaken it in any way, it may rupture or explode. Examples:
propane, oxygen, and acetylene.
Flammable & Combustible Material - Class B
- is a product,
which may ignite, or burn or may be explosive in some situations.
It may react with other materials to form a flammable gas. Examples
are gasoline and paint thinners.
Oxidizing Material - Class C
- This material can create
a fire in the presence of flammable or combustible materials.
It can also react violently or cause an explosion in contact
with organic materials. May burn eyes and skin on contact.
Poisonous - Class D 1
(A & B) This material can act quickly
to produce toxic effects or death if it enters the body. Example:
pine oil, cyanide. Two subdivisions are provided:
A - very toxic materials
B - toxic materials
Other Toxic Effects - Class D2
(A&B). This symbol covers
a wide range of potential hazards, both acute and chronic. Acute
(immediate) effects can include eye or skin irritations or respiratory
inflammation. Chronic (long-term) effects can include lung problems,
liver or kidney damage, eventual cancer, birth defects, etc.
Two subdivisions are provided
A - very toxic materials
B - toxic materials
Biohazardous Infectious Materials - Class D3
. These materials
are likely to infect the body with diseases. Example: from used
Corrosive Material - Class E
- these materials can cause
severe tissue damage with prolonged contact. Can cause severe
eye and skin irritation upon contact. Example: chromic acid.
Dangerously Reactive Material - Class F
-this material can
react with other materials or is unstable. Dangers may occur
from jarring, heating or exposure to light. Example: Acetylene
All hazardous products in the workplace must be labeled. There
are two types of labels: supplier labels
A supplier label
must appear on all products received
at workplaces, and contain the following information:
product identifier, information on safe handling, supplier identification,
statement that an MSDS is available, hazard classification symbols,
risk phrases, precautionary measures, and first aid measures,
have text in English and French, and have the WHMIS hatched
A workplace label
is used when some of the controlled
product is put into another container for use, a controlled
product arrives in bulk without a supplier label, where a product
is produced in the workplace, and where a supplier label has
become illegible or has been accidentally removed.
Workplace labels must contain the following:
Product identifier, information on safe handling of the product,
a statement that the MSDS is available. There is no specific
design for workplace labels other than the content requirement.
A workplace identifier is a substitute for the workplace label.
It's use is permitted in circumstances where a workplace label
might not be practical. Example: controlled substances in pipes.
A workplace identifier could be, any means of identification,
such as a color coding, warning signs and pictures that convey
Safety Data Sheets
The Material Safety Data Sheet is the second level of the WHMIS
Information delivery system. MSDS is compiled by the supplier
of the product and contains the following information:
- the potential adverse effects to health from exposure,
how to work safely with that product, hazard evaluations
on the use, storage and handling of the product, personal
protective equipment needed, and emergency procedures related
to the product.
Every MSDS must be current and updated every three years. The
employer must obtain any new information added to the MSDS by
The third level of the WHMIS information delivery system is
an employee education program. Employee training should include:
Education in the content, purpose, and significance of information
labels and MSDS.
The use and types of identification, procedures for the safe
handling storage, use and disposal of controlled products.
Training in emergency procedures involving controlled products
and procedures to follow when stray emissions are present.
Are there any questions?
Finally, lets take a moment to review some of the "Do's
and Don'ts" of WHMIS.
and label all portable containers.
MSDS for all chemicals in the workplace.
inventory of all controlled products used in the workplace.
labels as necessary.
leaking chemicals and spills immediately.
the product label and MSDS before using any chemicals
for the first time.
chemicals without appropriate
a chemical if it has no label or MSDS
old chemical unless approved by your supervisor
chemicals unless specifically directed by the chemical
appearance as an indicator of safety
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.