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As a health care worker, you may be exposed to potentially hazardous agents during:
This potential exposure even applies to workers who do not normally work with hazardous materials.
In order to protect your health, you have the right to know about the hazardous materials and controlled products in your work environment.
But with this right, you also have the responsibility to use this information in your work environment, regardless if you work with hazardous materials or not.
WHMIS is an acronym for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is a national communication system for the safe management of hazardous chemicals. The goal of WHMIS is to reduce or eliminate illness and injury resulting from use or exposure to hazardous materials.
The purpose of WHIMS is to give all working Canadians a uniform and appropriate amount and type of information about hazardous materials used in the workplace. By setting these standards, it is expected that accidents and diseases caused by hazardous materials in the workplace will be reduced.
A controlled product is the name given to a product, material or substance that is deemed a hazardous material. These controlled products are regulated by WHMIS.
All WHMIS controlled products fall into one or more hazard classes. Each of the six classes is uniquely identified by a symbol for quick recognition. You will learn more about controlled product classification in Module 3.
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