At the beginning of each new year, and often throughout, Canadian workers and employers begin to ask a very common question. Employers may ask, “Do I need to provide my workers with WHMIS XXXX training”. The X’s are placeholders for the current or approaching year. Currently, that question is more specifically, “Do I need to provide my workers with WHMIS 2019 training? And Canadian workers are also asking, “Do I need to get WHMIS 2019 certified”?
So, is there such a thing as WHMIS 2019 and WHMIS 2019 training? We’ll get to that in a minute.
WHMIS 2019 vs. WHMIS 2015
In 2015, Canada integrated several components from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Products (GHS) into WHMIS.
When WHMIS was updated in February 2015, people started referring to the updated version as WHMIS 2015. The old version started to be referred to as WHMIS 1988 since it was put into effect in, you guessed it, 1988.
It was vital to differentiate the two systems from each other because substantial changes were made that impacted several components in the system. This included what information workers are required to receive during WHMIS training.
If you’ve taken WHMIS training in the last few years or have provided it to your workers, you may have seen references to both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015.
Considering the above, it’s understandable that people will ask if there is WHMIS 2019 training.
Is There a WHMIS 2019 or What?
The simple answer to this question is, no. There haven’t been changes to WHMIS itself since 2015. There is no WHMIS 2016, WHMIS 2017, WHMIS 2018, or WHMIS 2019.
BUT this doesn’t mean that you or your workers may not need updated WHMIS training in 2019! Moreover, there are some changes to training requirements that may or may not affect you. Read on…
The WHMIS Transition Period
After GHS components were integrated into WHMIS, there was a transitional period where several parties including hazardous product manufacturers, importers, and Canadian employers could slowly adopt the new system. There were a few different phases with specific milestones that each of the parties had to reach.
One of the most important things to note is that, during the transition period, it was likely that workers could encounter components from both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015.
This means that many workers needed training on both systems. Training on only one of the systems would not have provided workers with information that they needed to stay safe.
End of the Transition and WHMIS Training Requirements
With December 2017 seeing the end of the transition period, all parties must be fully transitioned to WHMIS 2015. Basically, after the end of the transition, you should not see any remaining elements from the old WHMIS 1988 system.
What does this mean for WHMIS training? Workers only require training on WHMIS 2015. Covering the old 1988 elements is no longer required after the end of the transition.
Updated WHMIS Training in 2019
How often do workers need WHMIS training?
There are no frequency requirements outlined in the legislation. It’s up to employers to determine how often their workers need WHMIS training based on factors within their specific workplace.
You can learn more about “WHMIS expiration” and training frequency by visiting this post.
Even though there is no new WHMIS 2019 training, if you’re a worker who hasn’t taken updated WHMIS Training that covers WHMIS 2015, you need to do that right away. If you’re an employer and you haven’t yet provided updated WHMIS training to your workers that covers the WHMIS 2015 elements, then you need to do that asap.
If you’re exposed to hazardous products in your workplace, be sure to ask your supervisor if you need WHMIS training, if you haven’t already.
WHMIS Training Options in 2019
Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get WHMIS Certified or provide the correct WHMIS training to your workers in 2019.
There are plenty of different ways that companies can train their workers including instructor-led classroom sessions, WHMIS-based videos, and for the ultimate time and cost-saving convenience,
Online Training. Instructor-led sessions can be supplemented with high-quality training material that saves your internal trainers time and helps provide a clear, consistent message.
If you want to train your workers in-house but don’t feel like you have the skills quite yet, you can take a WHMIS instructor training course. There are even super-convenient options to get certified as a WHMIS instructor online.
If you’re an individual and you’ve been asked by your employer to get WHMIS 2019 training, Online WHMIS Training is a convenient and affordable option to get you up to date. High-Quality WHMIS Training can be completed in less time than traditional methods and at your own pace. You also can complete the training anywhere, and from any device as long as you have a reliable high-speed internet connection.
If you’re not sure what the best training option would be for you or your workers, feel free to check out our free guide on WHMIS training.
Regardless of what method you choose, make sure that you get the training through a reputable, high-quality training provider.