WHMIS Policy



Rohde & Liesenfeld is committed to implementing a system to support the safety and security of employees working with hazardous chemicals/materials and to comply with all applicable federal and provincial health and safety rules. WHMIS is a nationwide system to provide information on hazardous materials used in the workplace.  The purpose of this program is to ensure employees are informed about hazardous materials used in the workplace so they can use the information to protect themselves from accidents, injuries and illnesses.  This hazard communication is accomplished through the three main components of WHMIS (labels, MSDS, and educational training of WHMIS to the workers). Rohde & Liesenfeld will ensure that all employee’s working with hazardous chemicals or materials receive WHMIS  training. All employees have free access to MSDS. MSDS are stored in/at the office and the supervisor’s vehicle.

Rohde & Liesenfeld shall ensure that all containers are labelled, a current inventory list of all hazardous chemicals/material is maintained, and current Material Safety Data Sheets are available.

Roles and Responsibilities


  • Make sure a WHMIS program is implemented

Operations Manager

  • Ensure all employees receive company specific WHMIS training prior to the first day of work.
  • Ensure that container’s of controlled products provided by a supplier are labeled with supplier labels when they enter workplace.
  • Affix supplier labels on controlled products received for the supplier in multi containers when agreed to in writing by the employer prior to shipment.
  • Give the MSDS sheet to the HSE coordinator, so the MSDS binder can be updated
  • Replace missing or illegible labels.


  • Ensure that MSDS’s are available to workers in the work place for all controlled products.
  • Identify products used in the workplace that are controlled under WHMIS and inform employees of them.
  • Ensure that the products are labelled correctly.
  • Ensure all employees who work with or come in contact with a controlled product are informed about any hazards concerning the care, use, handling or storage of the controlled product.

H&S Coordinator

  • To implement a WHMIS program specific to Rohde & Liesenfeld
  • Make sure MSDS binder is up to date for all of the controlled substances used by Rohde & Liesenfeld.
  • Supply all supervisors with a MSDS binder for the field.
  • Conduct WHMIS training course for the employees who require it.
  • Answer any employees questions regarding WHMIS
  • Make sure that all controlled products received from the supplier have an up to date (less than 3 years old) supplier MSDS when entering the workplace
  • Keep all WHMIS training records for each employee.
  • Review the WHMIS program yearly and make adjustments if necessary.


  • To participate in WHMIS education.
  • Apply their WHMIS training to work safely.
  • Follow the WHMIS procedures and policy provided.
  • Review MSDS’s and labels when using a controlled product.
  • Under OH&S Act the worker must report to their supervisor if labels are unreadable or altered.
  • Do not remove, alter or deface labels.
  • If an employee has difficulty understanding the information on the labels or MSDS they should speak to their supervisor or H&S Coordinator immediately.
  • If an employee finds a MSDS sheet that is expired they should report the fact to their supervisor.
  • To work in accordance with all applicable legislation and standard operating procedures for hazardous  materials.

All employees of this Company will participate in the WHMIS Program.A copy of this written program will be available at Rohde & Liesenfeld Calgary office and on each jobsite for review by any interested employee.

*The information in this policy does not take precedence over applicable government legislation with which all workers should be familiar.

Container Labelling

The supervisor is responsible for container labelling procedures, reviewing, and updating the labelling system to be used is as follows:

Rohde & Liesenfeld will rely primarily on the use of the manufacturers’ labels to meet the labelling requirement of the standard.

  • To work in accordance with all applicable legislation and standard operating procedures for hazardous materials.
  • All chemicals on site will be stored in their original container with manufacturers’ label attached.
  • Workers may dispense chemicals from original containers in small quantities for immediate use by a single employee on a single shift.  These secondary containers will be labeled with at least the generic name of the product dispensed (e.g., paint, thinner, etc.).  Excess chemical will be returned to the original container at the end of the shift.
  • Site supervisor will ensure that all containers are labeled with the manufacturers’ label or equivalent containing the following information:
    • Chemical Name; Manufacturers’ Name and Address;
    • Appropriate hazard warnings such as Flammable, - Toxically etc.
  • No unmarked containers of any size will be left in the work area unattended.

Hazardous Chemical List & Material Safety Data Sheets

A master list of all the hazardous chemicals ( f o r m 3 ) used on a job site will be maintained by supervisor and kept in the supervisor’s truck. This list will be available for employee review at any time.

Copies of MSDSs for all hazardous chemicals to which employees of this company may be exposed will be kept in all supervisors’ trucks and at Rohde & Liesenfeld office and at each jobsite. MSDSs will be available for employee review at any time.

Anyone purchasing new chemicals must request a copy of the MSDS. The Company Safety Coordinator will ensure that new MSDSs are distributed to the appropriate job sites.  If MSDSs are not available or new chemicals in use do not have an MSDS, immediately contact The Company Safety Coordinator.

Employee Information and Training

Prior to starting work, each new employee will attend a health and safety orientation and will receive information and training on the following:

An overview of the WHMIS requirements.

  • Chemicals present at their job site.
  • Location and availability of the MSDS file and the written WHMIS program
  • Physical hazards and health effects of the hazardous chemicals.
  • Methods used to determine the presence or release of hazardous chemicals in the work area.
  • Methods to reduce or prevent exposure to these hazardous chemicals including safe work practices and personal protective equipment.
  • Steps Rohde & Liesenfeld has taken to reduce or prevent exposure to these chemicals.
  • Safety emergency procedures to follow if the employee is exposed to these chemicals.
  • How to read labels and review MSDSs to obtain appropriate hazard information.

Prior to introducing a new hazardous chemical into any operational section of Rohde & Liesenfeld, affected employees will be given updated information and training for new chemical as outlined above.

Hazardous Non-Routine Tasks

Periodically, employees must perform hazardous non-routine tasks.  Before starting work on such projects, each affected employee will be given information by their supervisor about hazardous chemicals to which he or she may be exposed during such activity.

This information will include:

  • Specific chemical hazards.
  • Protective/safety measures employees can take.
  • Measures Rohde & Liesenfeld has  taken  to  reduce  the  hazards,  including ventilation, respirators, presence of another employee, and emergency procedures.

Informing Other Employers

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure all employers on the job site exchange the following information:

  • Hazardous chemicals which employees may be exposed while on the job site.
  • Procedures for obtaining MSDSs from each employer
  • Precautions employees should take to lessen the possibility of exposure.
  • Location of written WHMIS programs for each company.
  • Contact information for the safety coordinator for each company.

Each employer will  be  responsible for  providing necessary hazard  information to their  affected employees.

A list of all known hazardous chemicals used by our employees can be found in the front of the MSDS binder located at Rohde & Liesenfeld office and your supervisor’s truck.  Further information on each chemical may be obtained by reviewing MSDSs.

Understanding Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

It  is estimated  that  many  millions of  workers are exposed to 650,000 Hazardous chemical products in almost a million Canadian workplaces. This poses a serious problem for exposed workers and their employers.

The basic goal of a WHMIS Program is to be sure employers  and employees know about work hazards and how to protect themselves.  This should help to reduce the incidence of chemical related illnesses and injuries.

Chemicals pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion, and reactivity). The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is designed to ensure that information about these hazards and associated protective measures are disseminated to workers and employers.



This is accomplished by requiring chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and to provide information about them through labels on shipped containers and more detailed information sheets called material safety data sheets (MSDSs). All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must prepare and implement a written W HMIS program.

Employers must ensure that all containers are labeled, that employees are provided access to MSDSs, and that an effective training program is conducted for all  potentially exposed employees.

A vital part of an effective WHMIS program is maintaining Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and insuring employees have the necessary training to understand the terminology  contained  in  MSDSs.  The  following  pages  provide  brief  explanations  of terminology that can be used during employee training.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and suppliers are required to provide you with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for each of their hazardous chemicals.  As  an employer or contractor, you are required to maintain a file of MSDSs for the hazardous chemicals you use.  According to WHMIS, you will be able to determine if a substance is hazardous by referring to the MSDS and the label.  The supplier MSDS must be available in French and English at the time of sale or importation. There can be one bilingual document or separate French and English data sheets.

Review the MSDSs you receive for accuracy and completeness, and make sure you have the latest version on file.  When an MSDS includes new information or a new compound has been added to it, additional employee training is required.

To ensure proper recordkeeping and maintenance of MSDSs, you should:

  1. Make sure any employee who purchases supplies for your company is on the lookout for MSDSs.
  2. Include a request for an MSDS and a label that meets the requirements of the WHMIS on all purchase orders.
  3. Ask for an MSDS for materials with labels indicating they are hazard unless an MSDS is already on file.
  4. To deal with a multi-employer situation, other contractors on the site may be asked to provide hazardous substance information for the chemicals they bring to the site.

While MSDSs  will  appear in  many different formats, they will contain essentially the same information.  An MSDS should contain the following information:


  1. Product Identifier: The name of the product as it appears on the label. This is often the chemical name of a product but can also be the trade name, common name, code name, or code number.
  2. Product Use: The product use(s) intended by the manufacturer or supplier.
  3. Manufacturer’s name, address, and emergency phone number: The manufacturer of the product Emergency phone number must be listed if one is available.
  4. Supplier’s name, address, and emergency phone number: The seller or distributor (which may be the same as the manufacturer).


  1. Hazardous Ingredients: Each hazardous ingredient must be listed by its specific chemical name (not its generic name).
  2. Percentages: The percentages, or range of percentages, for each hazardous ingredient.
  3. CAS Registry Number: The unique number assigned to each hazardous ingredient by the Chemical Abstract Service Registry.
  4. Current LD50 for each  hazardous ingredient: A  measure of  the  short-term poisoning potential of a hazardous ingredient. LD50 is the lethal single dose at which 50% of a specified test population dies. Note: LD50s are used for WHMIS classification
  5. Current LC50 for  each  hazardous ingredient: A  measure of  the  short-term poisoning potential of a hazardous ingredient. LC50 is the lethal concentration (by inhalation) at which 50% of a specified test population dies. Note: 4-hour exposures are used for WHMIS classification.


  • Physical State: The physical state of the product (gas, liquid, solid, paste, powder, or gel) at room temperature.
  • Odour and Appearance: Odour describes the quality of the odour of the product (eg. fruity, sharp,  almond-like).  Appearance describes colour and texture for most products and includes particle size for solids.
  • Odour Threshold: The lowest airborne concentration that can be detected by the human sense of smell.
  • Vapour Density: The ratio of the weight of a substance compared with water.
  • Vapour Pressure: One measure of the ability of a substance to form vapours. The higher the vapour pressure, the more quickly a substance evaporates.
  • Evaporation Rate: The ratio of how fast a substance evaporates relative to a known reference standard (usually n-butyl acetate = 1).
  • Boiling Point: The temperature at which a liquid changes to a gas (at normal room pressure).
  • Freezing Point: The temperature at which a liquid changes to a solid
  • Melting point: The temperature at which a solid changes to a liquid (at normal room pressure).
  • PH: A value that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a product (usually liquid) pH values between 0 and 7 are considered acidic and pH values between 7 and 14 are considered alkaline (7 is neutral)
  • Coefficient of water/oil distribution: A number that  indicates how easily  a product may be absorbed into the body. A value greater than 1 means a substance may enter the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and lung A value less than 1 means that the substance may be absorbed by the fatty tissue below the skin.


  • Flammability: Whether a product is classified as  flammable or combustible under WHMIS.
  • Means of Extinction: Indicates the range of vapour concentrations, which will explode when an ignition source is present. The Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) is the minimum amount of vapour in the air that can be ignited. The Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) is the maximum amount of vapour in the air that will sustain fire.
  • Flash Point and Test Method Used:  The lowest  temperature at which the product will catch fire (or explode) when there is a nearby source of ignition such as a spark or open flame. A flash point is determined either by a cc (closed cup) or oc (open cup) method.
  • Upper Flammable Limit and Lower Flammable Limit:   The highest and lowest concentration of a gas or vapour in air (expressed as a percentage) at which the product will catch fire or explode if near and ignition source such as a spark or open flame. These are also referred to as explosive limits. These concentrations, and all concentrations in between, form the flammable range.
    • Auto ignition Temperature: The temperature above which the substance (usually the vapour) may self-ignite without an external flame or spark. Auto ignition temperatures are available only for flammable liquids and gases.
    • Hazardous Combustion Products: The hazardous products produced when the substance burns or is exposed to heat.
    • Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact: Whether the product may explode due to physical impact (e.g. being dropped, bumped, or knocked over).
    • Sensitivity to Static Discharge: Whether the product may explode or catch fire if there is a nearby spark from static electricity.


  • Chemical Stability: Whether the product is chemically stable when exposed to normal intended use or when placed in extended storage.
  • Incompatible Substances: Other chemical groups (e.g. acids and caustics) that will cause violent reactions when the two products contact each other.
  • Conditions of Reactivity:  When hazardous reactions  (e.g.  vigorous polymerization) may occur.
  • Hazardous Decomposition Products: Hazardous substances produced or released due to aging or reaction with air or moisture. These do not include thermal decomposition products from burning or excess heating.


  • Route(s) of Entry: How the product enters the body during normal use: skin contact, skin absorption, eye contact, inhalation, and/or ingestion.
  • Effects of Acute Exposure: Adverse health effects resulting from short-term exposure to the substance, either as a single exposure or as multiple exposures occurring within a short time, usually 24 hours or less.
  • Effects of Chronic Exposure: Adverse health effects resulting from repeated exposure over a relatively long period of time, anywhere from several days to years.
  • Exposure Limits:  The exposure  limit for the product, usually the 8-hour time- weighted-average, and the name of the regulatory agency. The legal exposure limits may be different from the ones listed on the MSDS.
  • Irritancy of Product: Whether the product may irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, or any other part of the body that it contacts to produce tearing, reddening, swelling, itching, and/or pain Irritancy is often described as mild, moderate, or severe.
  • Sensitization: Whether the product may cause sensitization. A sensitizer may cause severe allergic reactions with repeated exposure. 
  • Carcinogenicity: Whether the  product  is  classified as  a  human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or by the American Conference  of  Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Reproductive
  • Toxicity: Whether the product may cause reproductive problems.
  • Teratogenicity: Whether the product may cause birth defects in the fetus at exposures that do not cause damage or injury to the mother.
  • Mutagenicity: Whether the product may cause changes to the genetic material (DNA) of living cells.
  • Synergistic Products: Other products that, when combined with exposure to the controlled product, may cause a toxic effect greater than the sum of the effects of the individual materials.


  • Personal Protective Equipment: Specific personal protective equipment, and specific type of equipment, required to prevent exposure to the product.
  • Specific Engineering Controls: Recommended engineering controls, such as ventilation and process equipment design, to be used with the product.
  • Leak and Spill Procedures: Safe procedures to clean up spill, leaks,  and other accidental release of the product.
  • Waste Disposal: Information such as proper waste container design, safe procedures for handling waste, and agencies to contact regarding disposal requirements.
  • Handling Procedures and Equipment: Particular procedures and equipment required to handle the product safely.
  • Storage Requirements: Specific safe storage information such as separation from other incompatibles, shelf life, testing for peroxide formation, and sensitivity to light, temperature, or moisture.
  • Special Shipping Information: Safe Shipping Information such as:
    • Sensitivity to shock and temperature.
    • Product identification number (PIN) or United Nations number (UN number).
    • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) information (e.g. classification, proper shipping name, and packaging group) may also be included.


Specific First Aid Measures in the event of:

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Skin Contact
  • Eye Contact


Name and phone number of preparer: Gives the name and phone number of the person or group who prepared the MSDS.

Class A - Compressed Gas

This class includes compressed gases, dissolved gases, and gases liquefied by compression or refrigeration. If the pressure in the container is greater than 40 psi, the gas is a Class A product. The cylinder may explode if exposed to heat or to physical shock (when dropped).

Examples include: oxygen and acetylene in cylinders for welding; propane



Class B Flammable and combustible material

This class includes solids, liquids, and gases capable of catching fire in the presence of a spark or open flame under normal working conditions.

Class B has six divisions:



  • DIVISION 1: FLAMMABLE GASES – These are compressed gases (Class A) that form flammable mixtures in air. Examples: butane, propane, hydrogen gas
  • DIVISION 2: FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS – These are liquids that have flash points below 37.8°C. A flash point is the lowest temperature at which the vapours from these liquids will catch fire from nearby sparks or open flames. Examples:   acetone, gasoline, isopropyl alcohol
  • DIVISION 3: COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS – These are liquids that have flash points of 37.8°C or more but less than 93.3°C.  Examples: kerosene, mineral  spirits,  butyl cellosolve.
  • DIVISION 4: FLAMMABLE SOLIDS – This is a special group of solids (usually metals) that meet very specific technical criteria such as the ability to cause fire through friction or to ignite and burn so vigorously and persistently that they create a hazard.  Examples: various magnesium alloys, beryllium powder
  • DIVISION 5: FLAMMABLE AEROSOLS – These products are packaged in aerosol containers. Either the aerosolized product itself or the propellant may catch fire. Examples of flammable propellants: propane, butane, isobutene
  • DIVISION 6: REACTIVE FLAMMABLE MATERIALS – These products react dangerously in one of two ways: either (1) they spontaneously create heat or catch fire under normal conditions of use or they create heat when in contact with air to the point where they begin to burn, or (2) they emit a flammable gas or spontaneously catch fire when in contact with water or water vapour. Examples: perchloric acid, hydrogen peroxide, permanganates, compressed oxygen

Class C Oxidizing Material

These materials increase the risk of fire if they come in contact with flammable or combustible materials.  Examples: perchloric acid, hydrogen peroxide, permanganates, compressed Oxygen.



Class D Poisonous and Infectious Material

Class D has three divisions:


•      DIVISION  1: MATERIALS CAUSING IMMEDIATE AND SERIOUS TOXIC EFFECTS – These materials can cause death or immediate injury when a person is exposed to small amounts.   Examples: sodium cyanide, hydrogen sulphide



•       DIVISION 2: MATERIALS CAUSING OTHER TOXIC EFFECTS – These materials can cause life-threatening and serious long-term health problems as well as, less severe but immediate reactions in a person who is repeatedly exposed to small amounts. Health problems include immediate skin or eye irritation, allergic sensitization, cancer, serious impairment of specific body organs and systems, and reproductive problems.    Examples: xylene, asbestos, isocyanates



•       DIVISION 3: BIOHAZARDOUS INFECTIOUS MATERIAL – These   materials contain  harmful micro-organisms that  have  been  classified  in  Risk Groups 2, 3,  and  4  as  determined  by  the  World  Health  Organization (WHO) OR The Medical Research Council of Canada.  Examples: cultures or diagnostic specimens containing salmonella  bacteria or the hepatitis B virus



Class E: - Corrosive Material – This class includes caustic and acid materials that can destroy the skin or eat through metals.  Examples: sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid



Class F – Dangerously Reactive Material – These products may self-react dangerously (for example, they may explode) upon standing or when exposed to physical shock or to increased pressure or temperature, or they emit toxic gases when exposed to water.  Examples: plastic monomers such as butadiene; some cyanides





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Document name: WHMIS Policy
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2016-05-22 18:33:02 MDTWHMIS Policy Uploaded by Michelle Bryan - [email protected] IP