WHMIS CLASSIFICATIONS & SYMBOLS
Within the WHMIS program there are are six CLASSIFICATIONS and two sub divisions, for a total of eight symbols; any of which may be seen on a product identification label (see next section)
IF A PRODUCT MEETS THE CRITERIA WITHIN THESE CLASSIFICATIONS THEN THAT PRODUCT IS CALLED A CONTROLLED PRODUCT AND IS SUBJECT TO WHMIS REGULATIONS
The HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS ACT and the CONTROLLED PRODUCTS REGULATIONS do not require WHMIS labels and MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS (MSDS) for the following types of products;
- a restricted product when packaged as a consumer product (example - bleach which is within a bottle of bleach for sale in a grocery or other type of store)
- explosives - because they are already regulated by the Explosives Act
- any product or substance such as cosmetic, drug or food which is already "covered" by the Food and Drugs Act
- any pest control product within the meaning of the Pest Control Products Act
- a prescribed substance (an example could be certain medications) within the meaning of the Atomic Energy Control Act
- wood or wood products
- a manufactured product (various composites and particle boards, or a tire which has chemicals in it but once it is in a store it is considered safe for it's intended use )
- tobacco or products made of tobacco
- hazardous wastes
- hazardous goods being transported also do not "fall" under WHMIS because these good are already regulated by the DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
CLASS A - COMPRESSED GAS
- Compressed Gasses
- dissolved gases
- liquified gases by compression or refrigeration
CLASS B - FLAMMABLE AND COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL
Any substance which may catch fire or explode with an ignition source
FLAMMABLE - the substance will ignite more easily than COMBUSTIBLE
Example: Acetone is more FLAMMABLE than a COMBUSTIBLE liquid such as Kerosene.
CLASS C - OXIDIZING MATERIAL
The product contributes to the combustion of another material by yielding oxygen or other oxidizing substance or it is an organic peroxide
CLASS D - POISONOUS AND INFECTIOUS MATERIALS
- DIVISION 1 - Materials causing immediate and serious toxic effects. (can cause death in small amounts) (examples are sodium cyanide and hydrogen sulphide)
CLASS D - Other TOXIC affects.
Can cause immediate or long-term effects. Some long-term affects may lead to death (example - asbestos exposure may lead to cancer thus death)
CLASS D - BIOHAZARDOUS INFECTIOUS MATERIAL
Materials which contain harmful micro-organisms.
CLASS E - CORROSIVE MATERIAL
Any acid or caustic type of material. This may be harmful to the skin or other objects. (i.e. metal)
CLASS F - DANGEROUSLY REACTIVE MATERIAL
These are materials which, when subjected to heat, pressure, shock, or allowed to contact water, may cause a DANGEROUS REACTION
(some examples could be plastic monomers and cyanides)
SUMMARY OF SOME EXEMPTIONS
Some products do not require the WHMIS HAZARD LABELS and SYMBOLS because they are already covered by other labelling legislation. (i.e. Pesticides, Explosives, and Radioactive Material are just some examples) Also, when any CONTROLLED PRODUCT is being transported, the legislation then is that of TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS, even though, when the material (containers) arrive in a warehouse then then must be considered to be under WHMIS LEGISLATION.
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