Lesson 1 – WHMIS


  • to determine the need for safe handling and guidelines for chemical use and storage


  • 1/2 class

Advance Organizer:

You are a part of an advanced civilization, and you need to store some extremely hazardous waste that will not break down for millions of years. Design a label that would warn future people away from the waste. How will you account for different languages and cultures?

hmm, what could you change?


There are two main ways that we are given safety information about chemicals.

The first way is a long form called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Check out the MSDS for Hydrochloric acid (stomach acid).

The second way is eight symbols that are put on products, called the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

Make a T-chart comparing the similarities and differences between the two systems.

Similarities between MSDS and WHMIS Differences between MSDS and WHMIS

In which circumstance would you want to use a MSDS? A WHMIS symbol?

Fill out the following table:

Symbol: Name: Hazard: Example:
compressed gas
other toxic effects
immediate toxic effects


Divide the class into 8 groups, and assign each group one WHMIS symbol. They need to decide how to act out their symbol (as in Charades) so that the other groups can guess what it is.

Next Lesson


One Response to “Lesson 1 – WHMIS”

  1. I think you and your high school students might get a kick out of my new hot youtube parody – The WHMIS Warble. The url is

    Cheers, Marsh from WPG

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: