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Ensuring Safety at the Workplace with Safety Labels

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In Canada, the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System, in short, WHMIS labels are among the most important channels through which health hazard information is communicated to anybody likely to use the material. Safety labels are mandatory in Canada as per WHMIS laws.

You can promote workplace safety standards by using Safety Labels. These, when used alongside warning signs, ensures that your workforce stays aware of any potential hazards existing within your workplace or facility.

Significance Of Safety Labels

Your first source of information regarding the hazards associated with any product is the safety label. This also contains guidelines on how you can to protect yourself. Part of the information must include safety steps and precautions to be taken, should the need arise. Hazardous (controlled) products from suppliers are required by law to display a WHMIS label that has a hatched border and the relevant information categories.

In Canada, legislation on Workplace Hazardous Material Information System requires that all types of products that are used in the facility/workplace which meet the criteria set to qualify for classification as hazardous products have to be labeled as such.

Types OfWHMIS classification

Canada has aligned it’s WHMIS to be in harmony with the GHS, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. According to WHMIS laws, a label could be a stamp, sign, mark, tag, wrapper or ticket. It can be stencilled, attached, embossed or imprinted on the hazardous product or its container.

There are, however, two different WHMIS classification categories that are most frequently used: the workplace label and the supplier label.When a hazardous product is made (produced) and used at the workplace, a workplace label is a must.

A supplier label is attached (affixed) or provided by the supplier. It will be present on all products classified as hazardous received at a Canadian workplace. You will not need another label if the hazardous product is used in the container that came with the label from the supplier.

The WHMIS labels Responsibility

Suppliers have the responsibility for labelling all WHMIS-controlled products provided to their customers. The particular company which packaged or made the hazardous product is responsible for the MSDS and label information.

As guided by occupational health and safety legislation, employers, and at times employees are all accountable for labelling or even relabeling products within the workplace. This covers labelling hazardous products such as laboratory chemicals, decanted products, or bulk and piping containers where a classified product is flowing or being held.


WHMIS symbols and safety labels promote security and safety in the workplace. Additionally, they are employed in managing inventory/assets; alerting workers of potential hazardous areas; protecting shipments from any damages; and much more. The Safety Labels are vital in terms of reminding members of your workforce about the facility’s safety regulations. You might be interested in visiting ICC Compliance Center for more information.

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