Does WHMIS Expire in Ontario?
This is a common question. Along with variations such as does WHMIS expire in Alberta, or any other province in Canada.
The question is not as simple to answer as it seems because there is not prescribed retraining period or expiry date on WHMIS training. If you were to ask if a Transportation of Dangerous Goods Certificate expires in Ontario the answer would be very simple - yes a TDG certificate does expire after three (3) years. And this is true in Ontario, or any other province in Canada because this regulation applies across the country.
When we hear this question about WHMIS expiring, what the person usually wants to know is whether having taken WHMIS training one time, they ever need to take it again. And the answer to that question is Yes. WHMIS is not a once and done kind of training. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are knowledgeable on WHMIS and must review their WHMIS on an annual basis.
You will see this phrase frequently when you are looking at the WHMIS training requirements and employer responsibilities around WHMIS, "workers must be knowledgeable on WHMIS". It is a measure of the employer's responsibility for WHMIS.
If you work as a contract employee or subcontractor, you may be asked to show a WHMIS card, or WHMIS certificate as proof you have completed a WHMIS training course and WHMIS testing. What the person who is asking for this card really wants is a way to determine if you are knowledgeable on WHMIS. The more recent the WHMIS training was completed the more reliable the expectation that the employee is knowledgeable on WHMIS.
When your WHMIS training or WHMIS card is more than one year old, many employers, safety inspectors or contractors will not accept it. Be safe and be certified with annual WHMIS training and testing.