WHMIS Training WHMIS is a Canada-wide hazard communication standard for protecting the health and safety of workers who handle hazardous chemicals. WHMIS training is a legal requirement for employees who may be exposed to hazardous materials. WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Material Information System) has been updated to include GHS (Globally Harmonized System). It was amended in 2015. You may hear the term WHMIS, WHMIS with GHS, or simply WHMIS 2015 all interchangeably, but they all refer to the new and improved, updated WHMIS program in Canada. New: Visit the Hazardous Substance Assessment page to see classification information for select chemicals. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's national hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are hazard classification, cautionary labelling of containers, the provision of (material) safety data sheets ((M)SDSs) and worker education. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) has aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS is a worldwide system. Its goal is to have a common set of rules for classifying hazardous products, common rules for labels, and a standard format for safety data sheets (SDSs).

WHMIS Symbols 2020 with meanings [New Updated] Symbols (pictograms) are used in WHMIS to visually represent the type of hazard a hazardous substance presents. This will also help full for WHMIS Test 2020.

WHMIS Pictograms/ Symbols

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) was introduced in Canada in 1988 so that workers could receive information about the hazardous products they may use.

The WHMIS Pictograms/ Symbols are graphic images that immediately show you what type of hazard a hazardous product presents. With a quick glance, you can see, for example, that the product is flammable, or if it might be a health hazard.

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Most pictograms have a distinctive red, diamond-shaped border. Inside this border is a symbol that represents the potential hazard (fire, health hazard, corrosive, etc.). Together, the symbol and the border are referred to as a pictogram. Pictograms are assigned to specific hazard classes or categories.

WHMIS Symbols are used in WHMIS to visually represent the type of hazard a hazardous substance presents. You will see both pictograms and class symbols in the workplace and it’s important to understand both.

WHMIS Symbols 2020 Symbols with meaning (New)

WHMIS 2015 retains the use of class symbols:Classes.



Name: Flame

Meaning: Oxidizer

Classes and Categories

  • Flammable gases (Category 1)
  • Flammable aerosols (Category 1 and 2)
  • Flammable liquids (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Flammable solids (Category 1 and 2)
  • Pyrophoric liquids (Category 1)
  • Pyrophoric solids (Category 1)
  • Pyrophoric gases (Category 1)
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures (Category 1 and 2)
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures (Types B*, C, D, E and F)
  • Organic peroxides (Types B*, C, D, E and F)
Name: Flame Over Circle

Meaning:Flammable, Self-Reactive, Pyrophoric, Self-heating, In Contact With Water, Emits Flammable Gases, Organic Peroxide

Classes and Categories

  • Oxidizing gases (Category 1)
  • Oxidizing liquids (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Oxidizing solids (Category 1, 2 and 3)
Name:Exploding Bomb

Meaning:Explosive**, Self-Reactive (severe), Organic Peroxide (severe)

Classes and Categories

  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures (Types A and B*)
  • Organic peroxides (Types A and B*)
Name: Gas Cylinder

Meaning: Gas Under Pressure

Classes and Categories

  • Gases under pressure (Compressed gas, Liquefied gas, Refrigerated liquefied gas, and Dissolved gas)
Name: Skull and Crossbones

Meaning:Acute Toxicity (fatal or toxic)

Classes and Categories

  • Oral (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Dermal (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Inhalation (Category 1, 2 and 3)
Name: Corrosion

Meaning: Serious Eye Damage, Skin Corrosion, Corrosive to Metals

Classes and Categories

  • Corrosive to metals (Category 1)
  • Skin corrosion/irritation – Skin corrosion (Category 1, 1A, 1B and 1C)
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation – Serious eye damage ( Category 1)
Name: Exclamation Mark

Meaning: Irritation (skin or eyes), Skin Sensitization, Acute Toxicity (harmful), Specific Target Organ Toxicity (drowsiness or dizziness, or respiratory irritation), Hazardous to the Ozone Layer**

Classes and Categories

  • Acute toxicity – Oral, Dermal, Inhalation (Category 4)
  • Skin corrosion/irritation – Skin irritation (Category 2)
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation – Eye irritation (Category 2 and 2A)
  • Respiratory or skin sensitization – Skin sensitizer (Category 1, 1A and 1B)
  • Specific target organ toxicity – Single exposure (Category 3)
Name: Health Hazard

Meaning: Carcinogenicity, Respiratory Sensitization, Reproductive Toxicity, Target Organ Toxicity, Germ Cell Mutagenicity, Aspiration Hazard

Classes and Categories

  • Respiratory or skin sensitization – Respiratory sensitizer (Category 1, 1A and 1B)
  • Germ cell mutagenicity (Category 1, 1A, 1B and 2)
  • Carcinogenicity (Category 1, 1A, 1B, and 2)
  • Reproductive toxicity (Category 1, 1A, 1B and 2)
  • Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Single exposure (Category 1 and 2)
  • Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Repeated exposure (Category 1 and 2)
  • Aspiration hazard (Category 1)
Name: Environment

Meaning: Aquatic Toxicity**

May cause damage to the aquatic environment

Name: Biohazardous

Meaning: Biohazardous Infectious Materials

Classes and Categories

  • Biohazardous Infectious Materials (Category 1)

* Both the Flame and Explosive pictogram are used for Self-reactive substances and mixtures (Type B) and Organic peroxides (Type B)

**Not required by WHMIS 2015, but may be used.

WHMIS 1988 (Old) Symbols with meaning

WHMIS 1988 retains the use of class symbols: The following table shows the pictograms. The name of each pictogram is in bold type. The words in the brackets describe the hazard.


Hazard class


CLASS ACompressed Gas
CLASS BFlammable and Combustible Material
CLASS COxidizing Material
CLASS D1Poisonous and Infectious Material(causing immediate and serious effects)
CLASS D2Poisonous and Infectious Material
(causing other toxic effects)
CLASS D3Poisonous and Infectious Material

(Biohazardous Infectious Material)

CLASS ECorrosive Material
CLASS F Dangerously
Reactive Material

Download WHMIS Symbols 2020 with meanings [PDF]

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Free Printable PDF File

Reference: https://www.ccohs.ca/WHMISpictograms.html

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