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Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

It is required that all employees at Toronto Metropolitan University complete some basic training to stay safe and informed in the workplace. In compliance with Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) external, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 860 (external link) , the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation sets out in detail the employer’s duties respecting labels and safety data sheets for hazardous products, and prescribes the content and delivery of worker education programs.

Ontario’s WHMIS legislation applies to all workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). As such, all employees are required to be knowledgeable of WHMIS.  

This legislation applies to all employees, including but not limited to supervisors, senior administration, faculty, contract lecturers, staff, and students in paid and unpaid positions. Even if you completed training when you were first hired, you are required to complete this new training.

Paid and unpaid student interns are included

The law requires mandatory WHMIS training for both paid and unpaid workers. This includes student interns in research placements, practicums, exchanges, zones and thesis-related activity working at TMU or with external placement employers as well.

TMU faculty and staff who will be retaining and supervising interns are required to ensure interns complete the training, which will prepare them to be safe and informed in the workplace.


WHMIS training provides users with education to raise awareness about the importance of safety training. Training is structured to help you understand, retain and put into practice WHMIS knowledge while working in a variety of environments. This includes all university employees, and especially those who:

  • work with, or are in close proximity to hazardous products including those found in laboratories;
  • use, handle, store or dispose of hazardous material;
  • supervise the performance of the above duties; and/or
  • could be exposed to hazardous material during an emergency situation such as a spill or accidental release of material.

There are two categories of training available to participants, depending on whether or not they work in a laboratory setting.

Mandatory WHMIS (general training)

This orientation and basic training provides participants with a comprehensive overview of WHMIS, including Labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). General WHMIS training is three modules long and takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete, with a quiz at the end of each to test participants on what they have learned.

General WHMIS for undergraduate or graduate students (non-employees): This training is available online. To sign up, please follow these enrollment instructions.

General WHMIS for employees: This training is available online in your courses in D2L Brightspace. For details on how to access the course, proceed to step 2 to access and complete the training on the D2L eLearning Instructions page.

Chemical Safety

TMU students, faculty and staff who work in a laboratory settings should take the Chemical Safety training in addition to the General WHMIS.

If you require this training, please contact visit the Chemical Safety page.

Additional requirements for supervisors

In addition to completing the training above, your supervisor will be required to cover:

  • procedures for the safe use, storage, handling and disposal of controlled products (e.g. flammables, corrosives, toxics), including products contained or transferred in piping systems, a process vessel, a reaction vessel and a tank car, tank truck or car, conveyer belt or similar conveyance;
  • procedures to be followed in case of an emergency involving controlled products; and
  • any additional information regarding the chemical hazards that employees should be made aware of.