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Material Safety Data Sheets: 4 Common Questions About MSDS Binders

MSDS binder frequently asked questions

Are you in charge of putting together a Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) binder for your company? If you have questions, then we’ve got answers.

When you’re on a job surrounded by potentially hazardous materials or situations that could lead to injury or worse, it makes sense that there are specific guidelines in place to handle each one.

That’s where a Material Safety Data Sheet binder comes in.

Continue reading for answers to four FAQs about Material Safety Data Sheets.

1. What is a Material Safety Data Sheet binder?

Material Safety Data Sheets, also referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS), are a 16-section document, usually stored and organized in a 3-ring binder containing information on how to use, store, and handle potentially hazardous materials.

Emergency procedures are also included in the unfortunate case that they’re needed.

2. Do I need an MSDS binder?

Any company that stores, uses, or transports chemical substances or hazardous materials must have an MSDS.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the employer shall maintain in the workplace copies of the required MSD sheets for each hazardous chemical, and shall ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area.

In other words, for many companies creating and maintaining an MSDS binder is mandatory.

Even for other businesses where it is not required, keeping a well-organized SDS binder is often recommended for worker safety.

3. What information should be included in an MSDS binder?

There are 16 sections to each MSDS binder. Each hazardous chemical or substance should contain the following information:

Section Title Description
1 Identification Name the manufacturer of the material as well as the distributor’s address, phone number, emergency contact, recommended use, restrictions, etc.
2 Hazards Identify all hazards associated with the material and required label elements.
3 Composition List information about the ingredients contained in the material. Include any trade secret claims if applicable.
4 First-Aid Specify known symptoms/effects of the toxic material (acute and delayed) and the necessary treatment required after exposure.
5 Fire-Fighting Create a list of suitable ways to extinguish a chemical fire caused by the material.
6 Emergency Control State the emergency measures, procedures and methods of containment or cleanup required during an accidental release.
7 Handling & Storage Provide instructions on the safe handling and storage of the toxic material.
8 Exposure Protection List the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), Threshold Limit Values (TLVs), standard engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE).
9 Chemical Properties Describe the toxic material’s physical and chemical characteristics.
10 Chemical Stability Describe the material’s chemical stability and likelihood of hazardous reactivity.
11 Toxicology Provide information about how toxic exposure can occur, acute and chronic symptoms of being exposed, and numerical measurements of the material’s toxicity.
12 Ecology Assess the environmental impact of the material being released in nature—such as toxicity to fish, birds, plants, microorganisms, etc.
13 Disposal Include proper waste disposal recommendations and the steps to take according to local, state or federal regulations.
14 Transport Specify the appropriate steps to take when transporting the hazardous material to avoid damage during shipment.
15 Regulation List references to relevate health, safety, and environmental regulations and laws that apply to the material.
16 Other Information Note the date that the MSDS sheet was prepared, or when it was last revised.

NOTE: OSHA does not enforce Sections 12-15. This information is regulated by other agencies.

4. Where can I buy an MSDS binder?

We suggest using customized Poly binders for your MSDS binder. They’ll stand the test of time in any environment. According to OSHA guidelines, manufacturers of potentially hazardous substances must supply free MSDS sheets.

If you have another question about how to create and organize an MSDS binder, contact us today for expert answers and to learn more about our durable, high quality binders that can withstand constant use and wear-and-tear.