WHMIS 2015: Understanding SDSs CCOHS


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This intermediate level course covers the standard 16-section format introduced in WHMIS 2015, providing you with a thorough explanation of a safety data sheet (SDS).

Under WHMIS law, suppliers and manufacturers must inform workplaces about the hazards and safe use of their products. They meet this requirement by providing the employer with an SDS for each hazardous product. SDSs are important resources that allow you to identify the hazards of the products you use and to protect yourself from those hazards, including safe handling and emergency measures. Understanding them is critical to your safety.

Note that this course does not include instruction on writing SDSs or in-depth evaluation of SDSs for quality assurance.

Topics include:

  • An overview of WHMIS 2015
  • The four main purposes of an SDS:
    • Identification of the product and supplier
    • Hazard identification
    • Prevention
    • Response
  • Other information found on an SDS

Upon completion of this course you will:


  • Understand the purpose of an SDS, and how they are part of Canada’s right-to-know system
  • Identify the information that is required to be disclosed on an SDS
  • Recognize the significance of the required information on a label and in the different sections of an SDS
  • Understand the terms commonly found on an SDS
  • Know where to get additional information

Average time to complete this course is approximately 75 minutes.

Target Audience

  • Workers, supervisors, and health and safety committee members
  • Anyone who uses SDSs


Successful completion of WHMIS 2015 for Workers or WHMIS 2015 for Managers and Supervisors is helpful, although not required.

Delivery Method

This course is delivered as an on-line e-learning course. All you need is a computer, access to the Internet – and you are ready to go! This e-learning course is designed to help you learn at your own pace and in your own environment at your own convenience.

Review Process

CCOHS courses are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.