3.5 – Handling Hazardous Products


Employers are responsible for seeing that every container of hazardous material entering the workplace has the proper label attached, that there is an up-to-date SDS (Safety Data Sheet) for each product, available for everyone in the workplace to see, and that workers receive training in the meaning of this information and how to use it to protect their health and safety on the job (WHMIS certification).


  • All GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) controlled substances must be clearly identified with either a supplier label or a workplace label. This includes cleaners, lubricants or other commonly used materials.
  • An SDS must be available to anyone working with a GHS controlled substance.
  • If no information is available for the materials to be handled, call the manufacturer and request an SDS and a supplier label.
  • All personnel handling GHS controlled substances must be formally trained with regards to the GHS program at the work site.
  • Review information found in the SDS and on the labels.
  • All personnel involved in the task must be part of the pre-job meeting.
  • ERP (Emergency Response Plan) developed in case of emergency.
  • Collect all the safety equipment required to safely perform the task at hand.
  • Comply with safe work precautions identified during the safety pre-job planning process.
  • Be aware of the surroundings as conditions may change which may adversely affect the job.
  • Should the changing condition warrant it – step back and hold a tailgate meeting to discuss the change in the job conditions.
  • If required, implement the emergency response plan.
  • All surplus hazardous materials should be returned to their normal storage areas or if they are going to be further used should be properly labelled and contained.
  • If the hazardous material is to be disposed of, ensure proper disposal methods are used. Disposal methods can be found in the SDS materials.
  • Clean all chemical residues off of any personal protective equipment worn or equipment used.
  • Clean up all spilled materials and dispose of contaminated materials in a suitable manner.