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Receipt of Hazardous Materials:  Requisition protocol, used by Purchasing and Payment Services, requires the presence of a material safety data sheet prior to acceptance of incoming hazardous materials.

MSDS: Central hard copy supplier MSDS files shall be maintained by Integrated Risk Management (IRM), Receiving, the Department of Applied Chemical and Biological Sciences and the University Health Centre.  Copies of all MSDS must be provided to each of these areas by all departments, schools and centres using, handling or storing hazardous materials.  On-line access to external MSDS databases shall be supported by the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences.

All departments shall compile and maintain current (# 3 yrs.) hard copy supply of MSDS on every hazardous material used, handled or stored within the department, and place these in the immediate vicinity of their location for ready access.

Chemical Inventory:  All departments shall maintain a current chemical inventory of all chemical materials and biological agents indicating their exact location, means of storage, quantity, supplier or manufacturer’s name and hazard classification.  Copies of these inventories shall be provided to Integrated Risk Management (IRM) on an annual bases.  A current inventory of all chemical materials and biological agents used, handled and stored throughout the University shall be maintained through the central MSDS database areas identified above.

Labelling:  When hazardous materials are received by departments, schools or centres they must ensure that the products are labelled as prescribed:

1.         Product Identifier: brand name, code name or number, chemical name, common name or trade name.  The label product identifier must be identical to that on the MSDS.

2.         Supplier Identifier:  the name of the supplier.  A distributor can choose to use the original supplier identifier on his/her own.

3.         MSDS Available: a statement that a MSDS is available.

4.         Hazard Symbol: symbols corresponding to all the classes and divisions applicable to the product.

5.         Risk Phrases: statements appropriate to the hazards of the classes and divisions which apply.

6.         Precautionary Measures:  precautions to be used during handling, storage and use.

7.         First Aid Measures: action to minimize injury from accidental exposure to the product.

8.         Matched Border: design is specified and must surround items (1) to (7) above.

In-house labels must be produced and affixed to a container of hazardous material that has been decanted from a larger container and which will not be used that same day.

In-house labels are much simpler than supplier labels but must show three specific items of information, the product identifier (the same as in the MSDS), hazard and safe handling information and a reference that the MSDS is available.  The format can be flexible and can use combinations of words, symbols or codes.  Labels must be legible and durable and remain attached under normal storage and use conditions.

Employee Competency:  As a condition of working with or in close proximity to hazardous materials, all individuals must demonstrate WHMIS competency in relation to University standards and individual departmental criteria.  Each department shall identify those individuals requiring WHMIS training and arrange for the provision of generic and workplace-specific training.  Curriculum and performance standards shall be designed in consultation with Integrated Risk Management (IRM).  Formal training records and course documentation shall be filed with Integrated Risk Management (IRM).

Emergency Response:  Each department shall establish, document and communicate local emergency procedures to address such measures as chemical spill control, emergency eyewash and showering, first-aid and accident response, and evacuation.

Waste Disposal: Semi-annual chemical waste pick-up by a licensed carrier is coordinated through the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences by the Chemical Safety Officer in consultation with the Director, Integrated Risk Management (IRM).  All requirements of the WHMIS program, with the exception of the provision of MSDS shall apply to all chemical waste.

Exposure Controls:  Each department must develop, document and routinely evaluate appropriate hazard control procedures and practices for all activity relating to the handling, use and storage of hazardous materials.  Department heads must ensure that routine workplace health and safety inspections, which would include monitoring the maintenance and use of personal protective devices, engineering controls and safety equipment, are conducted.

Administration and Performance: The University shall maintain a central WHMIS Compliance Centre, within Integrated Risk Management (IRM), to govern all regulatory affairs and program auditing.

Under the direction of the Director, Integrated Risk Management (IRM), the department shall retain a current chemical inventory/MSDS database, training records, resource services, and in consultation with the Joint Health and Safety Committee, annually survey the status of WHMIS programs within all departments, schools and centres.

It is the responsibility of all department heads to routinely monitor all WHMIS requirements pertaining to activities occurring within their respective areas and respond to any deficiencies.


This procedure shall be under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The application and interpretation of this procedure and associated policy is the responsibility of the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM).