One of the biggest changes to the field of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in Canada right now is the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), which will amend the current Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) requirements.
To help with the transition, the amended legislation is referring to the updated requirements as WHMIS 2015, since the new requirements are directly related to what the previous laws were the subject of.
The changes, however, are significant: new hazard classes; new pictograms; and a new format for Safety Data Sheets. Anyone working with or near a chemical will be required to undergo additional training in accordance with the new requirements. This will lead to a massive adult education opportunity as a significant portion of the 18 Million employees in Canada will be impacted by the new legislation.
I just hope that this training – which in my view, will be done primarily online in a self-directed manner – will adopt the fundamental principles of adult education to ensure that it is as effective as possible, especially considering the potential risk of exposure to hazardous materials.