When to Renew WHMIS - That is the Question
WHMIS training is not something you do once and are done. WHMIS regulations have a training requirements that states employers must ensure employees are knowledgeable on WHMIS. And this is an ongoing requirements as the chemicals and controlled products in the workplace change employees have to be kept up to date in the latest information.
Employers cannot assume because someone was trained once that the person will retain that information forever. This creates the need for retraining or a refresher course to make sure employees have the latest information. In addition to training, knowledge testing is one of the main methods of demonstrating that an employee has retained the information from the training materials.
WHMIS regulations are enforced by provincial authorities and in most cases inspectors are looking to see that training has been completed within the past year as part of an annual WHMIS review to keep employees up to date and informed about WHMIS.
It has also become common for contract workers to be required to show proof of WHMIS training, in the form of a WHMIS card or WHMIS certificate as a condition for working on a jobsite. This affects many workers who work on client jobsites. In these situations a standard practice is to require training certificates be dated less than one year ago.