Saskatchewan WHMIS

As an Employer in Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan has their own regulations that apply to how WHMIS is enforced in the province. In addition to this convenient summary we have included a link to the Saskatchewan WHMIS requirements for employers.

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Saskatchewan WHMIS for Employers

WHMIS in Canada is a combination of federal, provincial, and territorial legislation. The federal parts are the Hazardous Products Act and the Controlled Products Regulations. When the regulations say employers have a requirement to educate their workers on WHMIS, it is referring to educating workers 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 Saskatchewan 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 Canadian WHMIS.

In Saskatchewan and the other provinces and territories, there is also local legislation and regulation for the implementation and enforcement of WHMIS. In Saskatchewan this is covered in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) Regulations, 1996, Part 22 (XXII).

As an employer in Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan?
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 Saskatchewan 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? Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan WHMIS laws do not require that a WHMIS certificate is issued. It is becoming 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 Saskatchewan. More information is available at this link on the Saskatchewan Labour Relations and Workplace Safety site, www.saskatchewan.ca/work/safety-in-the-workplace

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