New Brunswick
WHMIS

As an Employer in New Brunswick, with controlled products in the workplace, 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. New Brunswick has their own regulations that apply to how WHMIS is implemented and enforced. In addition to this convenient summary we have included a link to the New Brunswick WHMIS requirements for employers.

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New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick and the other provinces and territories, there is also local legislation and regulation for the implementation and enforcement of WHMIS. In New Brunswick this is covered in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Regulation, NB 88-221.

As an employer in New Brunswick, 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 New Brunswick?
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 New Brunswick 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, – if there is a change in conditions or a change in hazard information employers must review their program more frequently.

Do I need to have a WHMIS Certificate for my employees?
New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick. More information is available at this link on the New Brunswick WorkSafe website, http://www.worksafenb.ca

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