6 Types of WHMIS Symbols You Should Know

Workers have a right to know the type of chemicals they are handling and proper protection mechanisms. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System or WHMIS highlights the responsibilities of every party in a product supply chain.

1. Exploding Bomb

Products with this symbol are designed for people who know how to control the hazards of the products. This symbol is commonly used in the self-reactive substance class of the WHMIS classification to warn consumers about how to handle such products carefully. This is because self-reactive substances are sensitive to temperature changes.

2. Flames

These WHMIS symbols are used in workplaces to inform workers about the presence of flammable gases, solids, and liquids. Workers should avoid smoking around areas with these WHMIS labels and utilize the flammable products in well-ventilated rooms.

3. Flame Over Circle

Products with these symbols are known as oxidizing hazards. These symbols are used to label products in the oxidizing class of WHMIS classification. Oxidizing products react with oxygen, resulting in health hazards such as corrosivity and reactivity. Companies should store these products away from ignition sources including heat and flames.

4. Skull and Crossbones

This symbol indicates a high toxicity and fatal health hazards when it’s handled inappropriately. An employer should protect his/her workers by printing and disseminate safety labels about the detrimental effects of products with this symbol. Conversely, workers should store these products separately and at a suitable height for easy handling.

5. Health Hazard

Products with the health hazard symbol indicate the chronic health impacts that occur after a person is exposed to the products for a long time including respiratory sensitization. WHMIS classification uses this symbol to represent hazard classes such as germ cell mutagenicity, respiratory sensitization, and carcinogenicity. Workers should avoid smoking or eating in areas that use these products. Additional information and insights can be found at the ICC Compliance Center website.

6. Corrosion

Products with this symbol indicate two kinds of health hazards such as eye irritation and skin corrosion. These products include strong bases like ammonia as well as strong acids such as hydrochloric acids. Besides health impacts, corrosive products weaken containers and leakages in workplaces. Therefore, workers should use resistant containers to store the products and examine containers of corrosive products before handling.

Workers should be careful when handling and keep products with WHMIS symbols such as flames and health hazards. They should also read the instructions displayed on products before using to avoid being exposed to health impacts such as skin corrosion and eye irritations.