WHMIS 2015 Legislation - McMaster University Implementation


Updated legislation called WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) 2015 included a three-year phased implementation that commenced in 2015. 

This legislation replaces the original WHMIS 1988 legislation.

The WHMIS 2015 legislation reached its final stage on December 1, 2018.

Further to this, an amendment to the legislation was recently approved which provided clarity on how to adapt labeling on chemical containers remaining from the 1988 legislation.  As such, Universities can now move forward on implementation of all components of this Regulation.


The University will be providing standardized workplace labels that are compliant with the regulatory requirements. These labels will be made widely available to the entire University community in two sizes, small and large. Users of WHMIS controlled products will be expected to affix these labels to their products as they are used.

They are to be placed over any existing WHMIS 1988 pictograms on the WHMIS 1988 supplier label.  If no WHMIS 1988 pictograms exist on the current supplier label you can affix the WHMIS 2015 workplace label anywhere on the container.  These labels require you to affix them to the container, no further information will need to be added by the user.

Where possible assistance with labeling will also be provided by EOHSS in the areas of Science and Engineering as we continue the implementation of the University-wide chemical inventory program. As the chemicals are entered into the inventory system within a laboratory not already completed within the inventory, the WHMIS 2015 labels will also be affixed to the containers.

In addition to the labels provided for supplier containers, the University will also provide secondary container labels for decanting that will look similar but will require you to add the Product Name.

WHMIS 2015 Implementation - Labels

McMaster-specific standardized workplace labels are now available for WHMIS 2015 labelling compliance. Users of hazardous materials containing WHMIS 1988 supplier labels are expected to affix these labels as soon as possible. The poster highlights specific labelling instructions. We encourage you to print and post in labs and other work areas.

The labels are available at the following locations and will also be distributed to Departmental offices:


Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services – Gilmour Hall 304

Faculty of Health Sciences Safety Office – HSC 1J11A

Health Sciences Stores – HSC 1G1


ABB Stores (limited hours) – ABB B166


Communication and Questions:

If you have any questions please contact EOHSS,   or the FHS Safety office,  

The teams are also available to attend any of your Faculty or Departmental meetings in order to provide further information on this legislation or any health and safety topic.