Spot The Safety Violation: Is This a Proper WHMIS Label?
Is this a Proper GHS/WHMIS Label?
What’s wrong with this picture?
The answer, of course, is not a proper WHMIS label. And while it may be better than no label at all, this makeshift “UNKNOWN” tag is appallingly inadequate—especially when you consider that this photo comes from a chemical laboratory.
The Moral: Hazardous products must have a proper GHS/WHMIS label. If you’re not sure what’s inside a container, either find somebody who does or get rid of the thing. And please, please DO NOT keep the container in a pantry!!
WHAT’S AT STAKE
4 Reasons Your Workers Need to Know about GHS/WHMIS Labels
- They work with or near hazardous products that can make them seriously ill or even kill them
- OHS and company rules guarantee workers the Right to Know about these products
- Putting labels on containers of hazardous products that list key information about the product, why it’s dangerous and what workers can do to protect themselves is a crucial element of the worker’s Right to Know
- Even if workers are already familiar with WHMIS product labels, the new GHS/WHMIS 2015 rules change the label they may be used to
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD & NEW WHMIS 2015/GHS LABELS
You can also go to OHSI for a special poster you can use to train your workers on the new GHS labels.
CHEMICAL SAFETY DO’s & DON’Ts
- DO store chemicals in their original containers
- DON’T use chemicals that aren’t properly labeled like the one in the photo above
- DO follow the label instructions and safe work procedures when working with chemicals
- DON’T keep chemicals in lunchrooms or other areas where people eat and drink
- DO use the recommended PPE when working with a chemical
- DON’T mix chemicals unless you’re sure they won’t react
- DO ask questions if you’re not sure about a chemical’s dangers or how to work with it safely
- DON’T use flammable chemicals near a source of ignition
- Dos and Don’ts when using chemicals in the workplace