If you are an Employer in BC, what do you need to know about WHMIS? Do you have a responsibility to educate your workers on what WHMIS is and the Canadian WHMIS regulations? As you can see in the pages on this site WHMIS is a federal or Canada-wide program when it comes to the classifications of controlled products, the WHMIS symbols, and labelling requirements. And each province and territory (jurisdiction) has their own regulations that apply to how WHMIS is enforced in that jurisdiction. In addition to this convenient summary we have included a link to the BC WHMIS requirements for employers.

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BC WHMIS for Employers

WHMIS in Canada is a combination of federal, provincial, and territorial legislation. The federal components are the Hazardous Products Act and the Controlled Products Regulations. When people talk about employers having a requirement to educate their workers on WHMIS, they are talking about educating them on the information from the federal act and regulations.

This ensures that the WHMIS symbols, classifications of hazards, and labelling for WHMIS are the same for BC WHMIS as they would be for any other province or territory making the WHMIS course materials standard across Canada when it comes to the information workers need to know from the WHMIS legislation. This national consistency is an important part of the Canadian WHMIS program.

In British Columbia and the other provinces and territories, there is also local legislation and regulation for the implementation and enforcement of WHMIS. In BC this is covered in the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Part 5.

As an employer in BC, do I need to educate and train my employees on WHMIS?
The simple answer to this question is Yes, it is a requirement for employers to educate their workers on WHMIS, where controlled products are present in the workplace. This includes education on what WHMIS is, the classifications of hazards, labelling and how to read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and is often referred to as "Generic WHMIS" because it would be the same training materials for any workplace regardless of the products used in the workplace and regardless of the types of hazards from these products. The employer has a second part to this responsibility and that is to provide more product specific or site specific training on the products and hazards that are applicable to the work that employee is performing and the products they would handle or be in contact with.

How frequently do I need to train my workers on WHMIS in BC?
This is the question that can have a different answer from province to province and territory. It is the regulatory authority in each province or territory that sets the answer to this question. In BC employers who have controlled products in the workplace or workers exposed to controlled products must have a WHMIS program in place – and must review their WHMIS program annually – or more frequently if there is a change in conditions or a change in hazard information.

Do I need to have a WHMIS Certificate for my employees?
BC WHMIS laws do not currently require employers to issue a certificate to their employees. A WHMIS Certificate or WHMIS Card can be issued by the person or organization which provides WHMIS education, training and testing.

While BC WHMIS laws do not require that a WHMIS certificate is issued, it is becoming more common that workers from one organization are off site on other organizations work sites. In this case where you have workers on my job site, I can require you to show some form of evidence that your employees have had "Generic WHMIS education and training". Having a WHMIS Card or Certificate is a common way that contract workers or workers who work off site (not only at their own location) are able to provide documentation that speaks to the training they have had.

A WHMIS certificate typically includes the person’s name, company employed by, a testing or training date and a test score if applicable. Most importantly is information on who issued the WHMIS certificate as a way for to assess the credibility of the training or verify the course completion details.

When you have questions about local WHMIS requirements you can contact the jurisdiction that regulates WHMIS for BC. More information is available at this link on the WorkSafe BC site, http://www2.worksafebc.com/Publications/OHSRegulation/Part5.asp?ReportID=18022

WHMIS Training Comments from BC Customers

Our campus has been using SafeAndCertified since 2010 and it has been very positive experience.

The company responds to our request in a timely manner and the system company used is very user friendly.

Lily Chao
Campus Coordinator/Student Services
Vancouver Career College, BC

We have been using SafeAndCertified.com for a number of years. We have found the ease of navigation and the effectiveness of the knowledge provided to us and the students to be exactly what we need. Technical support has been fast and very helpful. We look forward to using this system for years to come and hope to see more certificate courses that meet the industry needs for the programs we offer.

Sharon Ullom
Insignia College of Health and Business, BC

I am new to the position of administrative assistant to our Work Experience Program so have only been working with SafeAndCertified for the past few months. During this time, I have found SafeAndCertified very helpful and extremely efficient when requesting access codes and login information for our students. My contact is Alan Dubyts. Most times he provides the information within 24 hours if not sooner.

When students provide their completion certificate, they give little feedback. I take this as a good sign the online course went smoothly and without difficulties accessing or completing the course.

By chance yesterday I contacted SafeAndCertified requesting a copy of a completion certificate from some time ago. Again, the service was very quick and helpful.

I should also share with you that during some brief training by the previous assistant, she too mentioned staff at SafeAndCertified were very friendly and helpful and I would have no problems with my relationship with them.

Thank you for providing this valuable service to our students and at a very reasonable fee.

Dina Passarini
Work Experience Assistant
J Lloyd Crowe Secondary School, BC

We found SafeAndCertified to be very helpful in updating our WHMIS training. Several employees had no computer experience, but were able to work through the modules with minimal help. The follow up service with WHMIS Certificates and training records was timely and effective.

Ross McDonald
Production Manager
Northern Plastics Ltd., BC

We have been using the services of SafeAndCertified.com for several years now, and I have nothing but good things to say about the service that we have received.

As an electrical contracting company that has numerous projects on the go, and the need to increase our manpower unexpectedly, we always need to provide employee certifications in a timely manner to meet our schedules and deadlines.

SafeAndCertified.com has made it very convenient for us to make sure our employees have the required documents necessary to make them compliant on our various job sites.

We work on projects on many industrial sites, including mining operations, commercial and city municipal sites. Because of the high profile projects we work on and the safety requirements that are necessary on these sites, the service that is provided for us by SafeAndCertified.com is invaluable.

I feel that the service that we receive is of excellent value and I would recommend their services to anyone that requires employee certifications in an efficient, timely and cost effective manner.

Grant Vogt
Office Administrator
Harrison Industrial Contracting Ltd., BC
Harrison Industrial Contracting Ltd.

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