WHMIS 2020 Training: Does the New Decade Bring a New WHMIS?

Happy new year! Or should I say, Happy new decade? It’s that time of year again when we try to let go of the old in hopes that it’ll make room for something new.  It’s also the time of year when Canadian workers and employers start asking about new WHMIS training. In this case, the question workers ask is, “Do I need to get WHMIS 2020 certified”, and employers are asking, “Do I need to provide my workers with WHMIS 2020 training”.

Is there a new WHMIS for 2020 and do you need to update your training? There are actually two parts to that question:

  1. Is there an updated WHMIS in 2020?
  2. Do workers need to update their WHMIS training in 2020?

The answer to the first question is simple. There is no new WHMIS, and the last update was in 2015.

So do Canadian workers need to update their training in 2020? That depends. Read on.

WHMIS 2020 vs. WHMIS 2015

Canada updated WHMIS in 2015 when it integrated several components from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This resulted in updated labeling requirements, new symbols, and updated safety data sheet requirements, among other things.

Get WHMIS Certified

After the update, the new WHMIS started being referred to as WHMIS 2015 and the old as WHMIS 1988, since that’s the year that it went into effect. This was important as a distinction needed to be made between the systems because of their differences.

This is where the WHMIS “Insert year here” confusion first started which led some people to believe that there was a new version of WHMIS released every year.

 Many workers will still need to update their WHMIS training in 2020.

Who Needs Updated WHMIS Training in 2020

So when does WHMIS training expire, and how often do workers need to take it?

The answer to that depends on a lot of factors.

There’s actually nothing in the legislation that specifies how often workers need training. Basically, it’s left up to an employer to determine the frequency of WHMIS training for their workforce.

You can learn more about when WHMIS “expires” by visiting this post.

WHMIS 2020 Training Frequency

Even though specific training frequency is not outlined in the legislation, there are best practices and recommendations that can be followed to help stay compliant.

Generally, it’s recommended that workers receive WHMIS certification annually. Following this recommendation is ideal since it helps to ensure that workers always have the knowledge to protect themselves at all times from hazardous products.

Some employers will provide training less frequently than annually, and this can be perfectly fine. The frequency that workers will need training is dependant on a lot of factors that are specific to the workplace. 

Many agree that exceeding two to three years without WHMIS training is too long and can result in significant issues. Going this long without training your employees can increase their risk of illness or injury. It can also increase your company’s risk of penalties from your jurisdiction’s health and safety authority.

WHMIS Training Options in 2020

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever for workers to get their WHMIS certificate or employers to train their workers in 2020!

Workers can take convenient, self-paced online WHMIS courses online and get their certificates instantly after passing. This means that they can get their certificate from the comfort of their home when it’s most convenient for them.

Companies can train their workers using traditional instructor-led training, WHMIS videos, and, for the ultimate time and cost-saving convenience, online training.

Instructor-led training sessions can be supplemented with WHMIS  training materials that save your internal instructors time and help provide consistent training every time.

If you want to train your workers internally but don’t feel like you have the skills quite yet, you can take a convenient online WHMIS instructor course.

Wrap Up

If you’re a worker and your company asked you to get WHMIS 2020 training, online training is a super-convenient and affordable option. 

If you’re an employer, you have several options to get your workers trained. First, decide on what will work best for your use-case and whether you have the resources to train internally. 

If you’re not sure what the best training option is for you, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help you figure it out 🙂