WHMIS Fact Sheet

The Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists recognizes that suppliers, owners, employers and employees all have specified responsibilities under legislation to ensure that there are no safety or health hazards in the workplace. As part of the Peer Assessment process, we look for evidence of WHMIS conformity at your workplace.

What is WHMIS?

WHMIS stands for the "Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System".

It is a system designed to reduce the risk from hazardous products in the workplace. The main components of WHMIS are hazard identification and product classification, labels, material data safety sheets(MSDS)), and worker training/education.


Yes. Both Federal and Provincial Laws govern it effective October 31, 1988.

Federal law (The Hazardous Products Act and The Controlled Products Regulations administered by Health Canada) requires suppliers (including distributors and importers) to provide labels and material data safety sheets (MSDS) with the WHMIS controlled products (substances that meet hazard criteria described in the above regulations) they sell to Canadian workplaces. The Health Canada WHMIS web site is designed to help suppliers meet their obligations under the federal law.

In Nova Scotia, The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1996 places responsibility on employers to ensure the health and safety of their workers who may be exposed to WHMIS controlled products. Employers must ensure their workers know about hazards of controlled products through a training program product labeling, and readily accessible material safety data sheets. (see WHMIS requirements ) The workers are responsible to ensure that employers are informed when labels are removed, missing or unreadable, and they are required to participate in a training program.

Training links: