Hazardous Materials: WHMIS 1998 vs WHMIS 2015

by Oct 30, 2018Hazardous materials

Hazardous Materials:

WHMIS 1998 vs WHMIS 2015


WHMIS 1998 incorporates the elements of the Globally Harmonised System, resulting in WHMIS 2015. The transition period ends December 1st 2018; will you be at the start line on time? This blog will provide you with information on the main changes that have been made in WHMIS 2015. In addition to the update of your labels and safety data sheets, formerly called material safety data sheets, employees that can be in contact with hazardous materials must receive WHMIS 2015 training.

The transition period from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015

  • Suppliers and importers must apply WHMIS 2015 since June 1st 2018
  • Distributors must apply WHMIS 2015 since September 1st 2015
  • Employers must have 100% integrated WHMIS 2015 into their workplace, including updating of their mandatory training program.

Here is a summary of changes:

Supplier’s label

  • Label must include:
    1. Product Identifier
    2. Supplier Identifier
    3. Hazard Pictograms
    4. Signal Word
    5. Hazard Statement
    6. Precautionary Statements
  • The hatched border is no longer required
  • Reference to the Safety Data Sheet is no longer required

Safety Data Sheet

  • The Material Safety Data Sheet contains 9 sections, whereas the Safety Data Sheet for WHMIS 2015 must contain 16.

  • Presence of pictograms is now mandatory
  • It is no longer required that Safety Data Sheets be updated every 3 years. They need only be replaced when a modification has been made.


  • Many changes were made to the pictograms
    • The round shape is now a diamond shape
    • The drawings have also been modified
    • WHMIS 1988 had 8 pictograms whereas WHMIS 2015 now has 10

WHMIS 1988

WHMIS 2015

Our team of experts in Occupational Health and Safety can help you and help guide you through these big changes in your business. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Tell us about your needs and an expert will answer you!

Intervention Prévention Inc.

Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


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