Ministry of the
Solicitor General

PSIS - Security Guard Study Guide Health and Safety

Private Security and Investigative Services

Basic Testing

Security Guard Test Preparation Guide

Section 5 - Health and Safety

The requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) ensure the occupational safety of security guards and those with whom they interact.

What is WHMIS?

WHMIS is a national system that provides information about dangers and safe handling of materials in the workplace, including biological and chemical substances. The goal is to ensure that workers have the knowledge and skills to protect their health in the workplace. Security guards may not work directly with hazardous materials, but may be exposed to them at work. Security guards should be familiar with the WHMIS symbols and how to respond to hazardous situations (see Appendix A.)

WHMIS sets out the responsibilities of suppliers, workers, and employers. Information about hazardous products should be readily available in the workplace. The employer must have procedures in place that are appropriate for the workplace and conditions of use of a product.

Security guards should have training to understand workplace hazards and know what controls are in place to protect them from such materials, including operational policies or personal protective equipment. Security guards should also be informed by their employer about procedures to follow in case of an emergency with hazardous materials.

Security guards should be prepared to deal with an emergency situation. This includes reviewing any available Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for potentially hazardous materials. Security guards should evaluate the hazards they may be exposed to and consider the tools and equipment needed in an emergency. Emergency response contact numbers should also be posted in a visible location.

When there is a health and safety risk that requires emergency response, security guards should:

  • know when to initiate the emergency response plan
  • evacuate the area and restrict access
  • contact the employer’s WHMIS response team or emergency services.

Some examples of situations that may require emergency response include chemical spills or leaks, fires or explosions, or improper exposure to a dangerous substance.


Health Canada. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System - Official Site

Occupational Health and Safety Act

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

See Appendix A: Hazardous Materials Symbols