Student Practice Education
Orientation for Students and Faculty
Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS) is a way to provide Canadian
workers with information about the safety and health hazards of materials used
in the workplace. WorkSafeBC requires WHMIS education training
be provided to all employees (and thus students) exposed, or who may be exposed,
to hazardous chemical or biological substances.
This information is conveyed by:
- Product Labels
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
WHMIS classes of hazardous products and the symbols found on product labels
are described below. You must be able to recognize a symbol and what it means
in order to ensure a safe work environment.
Online MSDS Database
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available online to find more information
on controlled products within the workplace. MSDS provides information such
as safe handling and storage, first aid measures and what to do in the event
of a spill. (link address: http://www.phsa.ca/HealthProfessionals/Occupational-Health-Safety/MSDS-Database.htm )
Online WHMIS Training
- Online Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) training is
made available so workers become informed on how to safely handle hazardous
materials within the workplace. The training includes responsibilities, how
to identify hazards and find more information on a product, labeling, and MSDS.
Each user must create an account (select your own user ID and password) before
access is provided to the course. (link address: http://learn.ohsah.bc.ca/login/index.php)
If you have any questions about the products that you are working with, you
can refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets [MSDS] online data base, the label,
your supervisor or Occupational Health & Safety for more information.
Symbols for WHMIS classes of
A - Compressed Gas
A product contained under pressure which meets other
criteria, for example, critical temperature (the temperature
above which a gas can no longer be pressurized into
|Class B - Flammable
and Combustible material
and Combustible material
Class B materials are determined by how readily a substance
burns and what form
(solid, liquid, aerosol) it is in.
|Class C - Oxidizing
May be an organic peroxide or cause the combustion of
another material by yielding oxygen or any other oxidizing
substance, whether or not the product is itself combustible.
|Class D - Poisonous
and infectious material
1 - Poisonous and infectious material
Materials causing immediate and serious toxic effect
through inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through
2 - Poisonous and infectious material
Materials causing other toxic effects, such as alteration
in genetic material, sensitization, and cancer.
3 - Poisonous and infectious material
Biohazardous infectious material, which applies to organisms
such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
|Class E - Corrosive
Corrosivity of material is determined by the amount
of tissue damage to the skin or damage to metal.
|Class F - Dangerously
Dangerously reactive materials can react to water, or
can react if temperature, pressure, or a shock is applied
to the material.