Mistakes To Avoid When Handling Products Regulated By WHMIS
WHMIS labels are essential for communicating chemical hazards to those who handle chemical products. They are required under WHMIS law. There are certain mistakes that businesses can make with regard to WHMIS safety labels that can lead to their companies no longer being in compliance.
Not Thinking That They Are Responsible For Product Labeling
The suppliers are responsible for making sure that their products have the appropriate labels. However, businesses that use these products are also responsible for making sure that the labels are in place and are replaced when needed, so it is important for policies to be in place to verify that WHMIS labels exist, that they are in both English and French, and that they have the hatched border.
Not Replacing Worn Out Labels
The supplied label sometimes becomes worn out. When this occurs, it is then necessary to order replacement safety labels that can be placed over the originals. Labels should especially be checked after being transported, when they are the most likely to be damaged.
Not Educating Workers On The Meaning Behind WHMIS Symbols
Symbols exist to provide clear, obvious visual information about the product even to those who do not understand English or French. It is important that workers be informed about what these symbols mean in case the meaning of the symbols is not entirely clear.
Not Knowing What WHMIS Classifications Mean
If you are unsure about the nature of a hazard, it is important to contact a supplier. You must always be fully informed of how the chemical must be handled so you can remain in legal compliance.
Not Adding New Labels When Transferring A Product To A New Container
Ideally, a product should be kept in its original container. However, if it becomes necessary to transfer a product to a new container, a label will be needed for the new container. An exception is if the product will be used immediately after it is transferred into the container. Also, the individual who poured the product into the new container will be the only individual who will use it.
Not Warning Employees About Unlabeled Containers
When there is a product that was not properly labeled, employees must be instructed to not use the product. It may be necessary to have the product tested to verify its contents or disposed of.
WHMIS compliance is not only important to protect businesses from legal penalties, but is also necessary to protect employees from injury, lower liability and maintain a more ethical workplace. To learn more information, please visit the ICC Compliance Center for their additional online resources.