The changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are significant, but with the proper training and organization, they're completely manageable. If you're feeling the crunch, MySDS is your solution.
MySDS is a Sudbury-based safety data sheet (SDS) hosting and management service that can also perform audits to ensure compliance, and even engage you and your staff in training and education programs to prepare for the changes and stay up to date.
"WHMIS 2015 has changed the landscape here in Canada," said Mike Moellenkamp, the founder, president and owner of MySDS. "You need to be proactive and that's what MySDS is for."
A lot has changed since WHMIS came into effect in 1988 to ensure employers and workers have the information they need about hazardous products and chemicals and how to reduce workplace illnesses and injuries. The 2015 updates ensure Canada is meeting international standards, and complying with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
Some changes are straightforward: like labels using pictograms instead of symbols to make them easier to understand, and presenting information consistently from supplier to supplier.
Other changes involve an overhaul of old systems. When WHMIS 2015 comes into effect, the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) required by WHMIS starting in 1988 and onwards will become obsolete, and SDSs will become the new norm. The new system is safer and more efficient in how it operates--the new format won't expire, for example--but that doesn't mean it won't change at all. The names and formulations of different chemicals could still change and it's up to employers to tune in and update their SDS libraries and train their staff in response to any changes. That is, unless you get MySDS.ca to take care of that for you.
That's ultimately what MySDS is all about: doing ALL of the work for you.
"MySDS allows the customer to have a hands-off experience; they don't have to dedicate an employee and have that employee utilize all their time on updating and maintaining all those safety data sheets. MySDS does all that for them," said Moellenkamp.
In fact, MySDS emerged from Moellenkamp's own frustrations with trying to stay compliant when he was on the other side of the issue.
Before founding MySDS, Moellenkamp took on health and safety roles in a variety of positions, in a variety of fields, and then founded Sudbury-based Green Lights Environmental (GLE) eight years ago. The waste management...