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WHMIS online - more than just training

When people think of WHMIS they often think of WHMIS training, but there with online WHMIS you can manage most of your WHMIS program online.

3 parts to a WHMIS program that can be done online

  1. WHMIS Training - WHMIS training is what most people think of when you mentioned online WHMIS. The main reason is that when you compare an offline or classroom WHMIS delivery to an online delivery there are huge cost savings and convenience benefits to online training.
  2. WHMIS Testing - some businesses make their WHMIS training materials available to employees in paper workbooks or online as a PDF file. This can be effective to make the materials available to employees but does not provide a way for employees to validate their knowledge which increases worker confidence. Plus without testing the employer has no way to demonstrate that the learning transfer was successful. Online WHMIS testing can be included as part of the training process giving the workers increased confidence and employers a proof of training delivery and retention.
  3. WHMIS Records - under WHIMS requirements, employers are required to retain their WHMIS training records for up to 30 years. Ideally the employer would have records of training dates, specific test results for each employee’s test for each year. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) must also be stored and easily accessible making an online SDS repository an effective way to meet this requirement.

Benefits of going online with your WHMIS program

The most common option to a web based WHMIS program is a paper based and face to face WHMIS training program. There is no question that a paper based WHMIS program that is delivered in face to face WHMIS training sessions is effective. The truth about online WHMIS is that it can be just as effective as the paper based option - and it can have benefits that the face to face WHMIS training does not have.

These are some of the advantages of doing your WHMIS training and complete WHMIS program online:

Questions about WHMIS online?

Can employees complete online WHMIS training on their own or do they have to take the training all at once?

There are options with online training to have employees view the training materials as a group. This can be beneficial if you want to allow employees to ask questions of your staff specific to the controlled products and labelling in your workplace.

Is the WHMIS testing necessary?

WHMIS testing is a commonly accepted way of demonstrating that knowledge transfer has been successful. Without testing the question becomes, how can you show me or prove to me that your "people are knowledgeable on WHMIS", which is the employer's responsibility.

Can we store our SDS online?

Some online WHMIS systems allow you to upload your SDS to your account giving you the ability to store SDS online and for your employees to access the SDS over the Internet.

Is an online WHMIS certificate as good as a certificate issued from a WHMIS Workshop?

A WHMIS certificate can be issued by the trainer after the completion of the training. The trainer or training organization can set the standards for the testing, issuance of a certificate, and the conditions for retesting. These standards need to meet the minimum acceptable standards under provincial Workplace Health and Safety. The certificate is usually connected to the training and testing and includes a training date and test score. Any differences as to validity will be related to the training course and its completeness, and to the testing integrity and testing rigor; and not as much as to whether the training was completed online or offline.

How does the cost of doing WHMIS online compare to an offline or classroom WHMIS method?

Online training and testing costs range from $19.99 (or less) to $39.99 per person. Offline training and testing rates average $50 to $100 per hour making a complete WHMIS training and testing $100 to $200 per person.

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