WHMIS and GHS training – separating fact from fiction

You might be getting cold calls from workplace training companies claiming they’re working on behalf of government, trying to sell training on workplace safetyand hazardous materials. While most jurisdictions do require employees to betrained on WHMIS/GHS, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars doing so!

WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) and GHS (Globally Harmonized System) are world-wide systems providing information on hazardous materials used in the workplace. Employees need to know how to work safely, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to implement costly training programs.

WHMIS/GHS is a legal requirement to protect employees working with hazardous materials. Check the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) hazard classes and categories list to see if any of your staff work with those materials.

Remember: As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure that all employees have the knowledge and training to do their job safely.

Where can you get training?

  • CFIB members can access a free course offered by our Privilege Program Partner, VuBiz. WHMIS is also a topic in the Small Business Health and Safety Certificate, which costs $69/student.
  • Local safety associations/organisations may be another resource.
  • There are many courses available, but it’s important to do your due diligence before signing up – check the instructors are fully trained and ask for references.


If you’re not sure what the WHMIS/GHS training requirements are in your province, please contact a CFIB Business Counsellor.