WHMIS has changed to adopt new international standards for classifying hazardous materials and providing information on labels and safety data sheets. These new standards are part of the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) being phased in across Canada between February 2015 and December 2018. The GHS standards have been endorsed by the United Nations. They are also being implemented in many other countries including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and members of the European Union. The original WHMIS requirements are generally referred to as WHMIS 1988 and the new ones are called WHMIS 2015. To give suppliers, employers and workers time to adapt to the new system, the transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015 took place in three phases.

The transition to WHMIS 2015 ended on December 1, 2018. There should now be no hazardous products in the workplace with WHMIS 1988 labels and safety data sheets.