WHMIS Training FAQs

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General WHMIS Questions:

What is WHMIS?

WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. WHMIS was designed to ensure the safety of employers and employees while at the workplace. In particular, the system was designed to keep workers and employers informed of the dangers and hazards associated with the chemicals and substances that they may come into contact with while on the job.

The key elements of WHMIS 2015 and WHMIS training are still the labeling of containers, the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDSs or SDSs) and worker education/training programs.

Who needs WHMIS training?

WHMIS training is legally required for all employees who are exposed or likely to be exposed to a hazardous material or controlled product at the workplace.

Who is responsible for WHMIS training and WHMIS education?

The onus is on the employer to ensure that his or her staff is properly trained. The responsibility to ensure workers are trained and the manner in which training is conducted rests with the employer. YOW Canada’s WHMIS courses are one method of training and, in most cases, additional site-specific training is required.

Does WHMIS training apply to your workplace?

If a product has the usual WHMIS symbols or labels, WHMIS applies and employers have a legal responsibility to deliver WHMIS training. However, people are often confused when analyzing their cleaning products because they discover hazard symbols that are not typical WHMIS symbols.

For example:

Because these Consumer Products are generally used for personal, family and household purposes, they are partially exempt from WHMIS. This means the supplier does not need to label the product according to the regular WHMIS symbols/labels, nor is a MSDS required as a condition of sale.

However, keep in mind: When Consumer Products are brought into a workplace environment, training IS a legal requirement and needs to be delivered to all employees who use (or might come into contact with) these products.

How often do I need WHMIS training?

Every company must review their WHMIS program at least annually or more frequently if required by a change in work conditions or available hazard information. Reviewing your program ensures that your employees are still adequately trained and knowledgeable.

To determine if your employees are adequately trained, they should be able to properly answer the following four questions:

  1. Where can I get hazard information?
  2. What are the hazards of the controlled product?
  3. How am I protected from those hazards?
  4. What do I do in case of an emergency?

If you find that your employees are not sufficiently trained, they should be retrained.

It's recommended that the training be done annually.

If I change employers/jobs, do I have to retrain?

The onus is on the employer to ensure that his or her staff is properly trained for the job. Because you can never be too sure of previous training, it's recommended that new employees take a WHMIS 2015 course, including site-specific training.

Can I take this course as an individual?

Absolutely! If you are taking this course as an individual, simply enter your name in the area for "Company Name".

Can I take one of YOW's WHMIS 2015 courses and then train my own workers in WHMIS 2015.

YOW Canada's WHMIS 2015 course is not intended or designed for trainers and we do not recommend that it be used to train a trainer. In order to reap the full benefits of this course we recommend that each trainee complete a WHMIS 2015 course themselves. This also ensures that each employee receives a WHMIS 2015 certificate.

Who signs my certificate?

The “employer” signature should be signed by the direct supervisor of the employee. The “employee” signature should be signed by the actual trainee. If you are self-employed you must sign as both the “employee” and the “employer”.

What types of WHMIS training does YOW Canada offer?

We offer WHMIS 2015 Online Training and WHMIS Video Training. Our online course is also available in French. We also provide additional training materials such as posters and pocket guides.

View our product menu.

Where can I find more information about GHS and WHMIS 2015?

For details on the changes and the transition process, please visit: :

WHMIS Regulations

What needs to be included in a WHMIS training program?

WHMIS training must include both general and site-specific training. General training covers such things as the regulations, labels, MSDSs, controlled products, symbols etc. YOW's WHMIS Online Course is a general course.

Site-specific training covers things like how to work safely with the controlled products used in YOUR workplace, where you keep the personal protective equipment and MSDSs and training for specific work procedures.

How is compliance to WHMIS monitored?

Compliance activities relating to WHMIS supplier labeling and MSDS requirements are conducted by Health Canada and the provincial, territorial and federal agencies responsible for occupational health and safety (OHS).

The Minister of Health Canada designates individuals nominated by these OHS agencies as inspectors and analysts for the purposes of conducting the inspection program in support of the WHMIS requirements of the HPA. The OHS agencies also conduct the compliance program for the WHMIS employer requirements established under their respective legislation.

Health Canada's WHMIS site.

What Acts or Regulations are applicable to WHMIS?

WHMIS legislation is incorporated into various Acts and Regulations:

WHMIS is a national program and the basic requirements are the same across Canada. However, individual provinces and territories may have also introduced minor changes while integrating WHMIS with their occupational health and safety regulatory regime.

Provincial Regulation Contacts.

Do YOW's WHMIS courses meet regulatory requirements?

YOW Canada’s WHMIS courses meet general WHMIS training requirements set out by Health Canada and the Provincial/Territorial regulations. The responsibility to ensure workers are trained, and the manner in which training is conducted, always rests with the employer, and, in most cases, additional site-specific training is required.

This course was developed in accordance with federal legislation and based on “Model [WHMIS] OSH Regulations” prepared by the Occupational Health and Safety Committee of the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation. It focuses on requirements set out under the Canada Occupational Health & Safety Act, the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and meets general WHMIS training requirements.

WHMIS 2015 Online Training:

How does the WHMIS 2015 online course work?

YOW Canada's WHMIS 2015 online course works in a 3 step process:

Step 1 - Register:

Once the courses have been purchased all trainees must be registered for the course. Registration is done online through the Training Administration page. You can also contact YOW Canada by phone at 1-866-688-2845, email or by fax to have us register your trainees. Once registered, login and password information is emailed to the administrator. 

Step 2 - Take the Course:

Trainees can log in at any time to start their training and can log in and out as many times as necessary to complete their training. The course is about 1.5 hours in length. It includes audio, video, animation and interactive exercises. It makes training fun and educational!

Step 3 - Print your Certificate:

Once completed, the wallet and wall-mount certificates are emailed to the administrator. The certificates are printable and accompanied by a Performance Record that displays how the trainee performed throughout the course (scores for each chapter etc.).

Is the course available in French?

Yes, our WHMIS 2015 online course is available in French. Once a trainee logs into the course, he will choose which language he wants to take the training in.

Learn more about our WHMIS 2015 in French Online Course (SIMDUT 2015) .

How long does it take to complete the online course?

The average trainee can complete this WHMIS 2015 online course in about 1.5 hour(s).

Can I log into the course more than once?

Yes, you can log in and out of the course as many times as necessary in order to complete your training. When you log back into the course, you will be brought back to your last visited page. You have up to 1 year to complete your course.

Do I have to complete the course in one session?

No, you may log in and out as many times as necessary to complete your course. Your work will be saved.

What will I receive when I have completed my training?

Once you complete the course, a pdf document will be available for you to download and print. This document is also emailed to the Training Administrator. This document will include your Performance Record and certificate. The certificate includes your name, your employer's name and the date you certified.

How will I receive my training certificate?

The certificate will be automatically available for printing once you complete the course. It will also be emailed to the Training Administrator. If you are self-employed, the certificate is sent to your email address directly.

How long is my certificate valid for?

To ensure you are always in compliance, YOW Canada recommends that you complete WHMIS training on an annual basis. Although there is no expiry date, your certificate will have a "Next Recommended Training Date" of one year past your certification date.

Can I take this course as a refresher?

Yes, this course was designed to suit the needs of both first time trainees and refresher training.

I am the training administrator. How can I monitor my trainee's progress?

As an administrator, you have access to the Course Administration site where you can monitor and track each trainee's progress. You can see quiz scores, view certificates, activate accounts and more.

You will receive a copy of all training certificates by email as soon as the employee has completed the course.

You can also be able to re-register any employee's who's certificates have expired.

Why should I choose online training versus classroom training?

Online training with YOW Canada is fast, easy and effective. Some of the benefits of online training include:

  • Training is available 24/7, on any computer with an internet connection.
  • Trainees can log in and out to complete their training at their convenience anytime from anywhere, so scheduling is never a problem.
  • Complete tracking capabilities through a Training Administration site allow employers to manage the training.
  • Training certificates are emailed to the Training Administrator instantly upon completion of the course - no waiting.
  • Dynamic video, illustrations, photos, audio and text help to meet the needs of different types of learners.

I have dial-up internet. Can I still take the course?

Yes. The course is available for dial-up users. Please be aware, however, that it may take more time to download. If you'd like to see a demo to test the speed, please click here to view a demo of this course. to view a demo of this course.

What are the technical requirements for taking this online course?

  • A computer with an internet Connection.
    A High-speed internet connection is recommended.
  • A Web browser that supports the Flash Web Player. (Such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari).
    You should be using the latest version of your chosen web browser.
  • Adobe Flash Player.
    Please download the latest Flash Player version here.

How do I Purchase a course?

Purchases can be done online, by phone at 1-866-688-2845 or by fax.

You may pre-purchase courses to be used at a later date. There are no expiry dates for pre-purchased courses.

What other courses does YOW Canada offer?

Please visit our product menu for all of our course offerings.

WHMIS Video Training:

How does the WHMIS video training work?

The WHMIS Video Training Package consists of two parts: a WHMIS Video and WHMIS Training Packages for each trainee:

WHMIS Video (42 minutes): A complete WHMIS course on DVD including audio, animation and illustration. Topics covered include: WHMIS introduction, roles & responsibilities, symbols, classes, labels, controlled products, MSDSs and more.

Trainees follow the video using reference materials included in their Training Package (see below). Trainees complete a quiz after every chapter. After successful completion, a WHMIS certificate (supplied) can be signed and issued.

With each video, you receive an Instructor's Package including answer key, tracking sheet and a WHMIS Poster.

WHMIS Training Packages: Each employee who requires training must have their own Training Package. Trainees follow along the video using the reference materials included in the Training Package.

  • WHMIS Quiz
  • Example Label and MSDS
  • Pocket Guide
  • WHMIS Certificate (wallet & wall-mount)

View the WHMIS Video Training outline page for more information or to purchase Video Training.

Questions About YOW Canada

What does the "YOW" in YOW Canada stand for?

YOW Canada's offices are located in Ottawa, Ontario and Y-O-W are the international call letters for the Ottawa Airport. Plus, we think it's a catchy name that's easy to remember.

For more information about our company please visit the Contact Us page.

Back To WHMIS Course Outline

YOW Canada Refund Policy

Provincial Regulation Contacts

Course Outline:

  • Online Training Introduction
    • How to use this course
    • Accessibility – keyboard access
  • Introduction and Legislation
    • Why you need this training
    • What you will learn from this course
    • What is WHMIS?
    • What is GHS?
    • What is the WHMIS 2015 transition period?
    • WHMIS is the law
    • Why WHMIS is needed
    • Hazardous Products
    • WHMIS Roles
      • Supplier Responsibilities
      • Employer Responsibilities
      • Worker Responsibilities
    • Main Elements of WHMIS
    • Sample Product for Training Examples
  • Hazard Identification and Symbols
    • Hazards
    • Routes of Entry
      • Inhalation
      • Absorption
      • Ingestion
      • Injection
    • How hazardous products affect your body
    • Hazard Groups
    • Pictograms / Hazard Symbols: WHMIS 2015 & WHMIS 1988
    • WHMIS 2015 Classifications
    • Classification of Controlled Products (1988)
    • Materials Exempt from WHMIS
    • Consumer Based Products
    • Personal Protective Equipment
  • WHMIS Labels
    • Supplier Labels
    • WHMIS 2015 Label Requirements
      • Class and Category
      • Hazard Statement
      • Signal Word
    • WHMIS 1988 Labels
      • Supplier Labels
      • Workplace Labels
      • Laboratory Labels (1988)
  • Safety Data Sheets
    • What is a safety data sheet?
    • WHMIS 2015 SDS – Sections
    • WHMIS 1988 – MSDS
  • WHMIS Overview
  • Interactive exercises, tests & certificate