MSDS Document Organization Tips to Follow

MSDS Document Organization Tips to Follow

Running a business that requires managing safety data sheets?

Are you confused about how to organize all your MSDS documents? You know how important it is to keep them safe, secure, and up-to-date, but how. There are many options including MSDS binders, SDS binder tabs, or an electronic database. Which is better?

With our step-by-step instructions, we give you some great organization tips to follow. Store materials safely to ensure you comply with OSHA standards. You’ll be able to find the exact information you need at any point in time when it comes to hazardous material safety data sheets with ease. 

By staying organized and compliant with regulations. Your company will avoid hefty fines if it has improper documentation storage. Read through this simple guide today and start setting up an effective document management system today.

What Is an MSDS Document?

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet, or SDS (Safety Data Sheets) are documents that provide detailed information. They contain important details. This includes safe handling, storage, and disposal of potentially hazardous substances.

This includes chemicals, gases, liquids, and solids.
An MSDS typically includes information about the material’s physical properties. It also has detailed reactivity and health hazards associated with it.

Additionally, they include material safety data sheets and outline the proper safety measures. It gives details about what action to take in case of an emergency or accident involving such substances.

Why Is It Important to Keep MSDS Documents Organised?

MSDS documents are an essential part of any chemical manufacturer’s operations. They provide important information about a substance’s dangers and proper handling instructions.

Keeping these documents organized is key to ensuring that the hazardous material is handled safely. It helps keep you in accordance with legal and environmental regulations.

An organized MSDS filing system also allows manufacturers to quickly access important information. This includes the necessary safety and handling of information when needed. It makes it easier to respond quickly to any potential health or safety hazards.

Additionally, having properly indexed MSDS documents can save time and money. It does this by reducing paperwork or re-ordering mistakes.

Data Your MSDS Document Should Include

  • Information about the manufacturer including their business and trading name
  • Contact details including address, phone number, and email
  • Detailed information about the chemical substance
  • Any hazardous ingredients it contains
  • The chemicals identity
  • Information on how to store and handle the product
  • How to clean up and disposal of the product
  • Information about fire hazards
  • Properties of the product broken down into physical and chemical characteristics
  • Any health hazards caused by the product
  • Data about the limits of exposure
  • Information on the reactivity levels
  • What protective gear needs to be used

MSDS Organisation Tips

Organizing MSDS documents can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the size and complexity of the organization.

Some organizations may opt for a physical or digital filing system to keep track of their MSDS documents.

Others may choose to use online databases that allow for easy searches and retrieval of important information. No matter which method you opt for, it’s important to ensure that all documents are properly labeled and organized. This helps avoid confusion or incorrect retrieval of information.

Additionally, all records should be regularly updated and reviewed to ensure accuracy.

MSDS Binder

Organizing MSDS documents in a binder is an effective way for businesses to keep their documents organized.

A binder also prevents misinformation from being used, as the most up-to-date documents are easily accessible. Additionally, binders can be color-coded and labeled. You can sort them by product type, date updated, or any other criteria that may be relevant to your organization.

We suggest you divide your MSDS binder into three sections. Each section will have different information.

Section 1: Written Hazard Communication Policy

Every workplace should have a written hazard communication policy outlined in its MSDS binder. This helps ensure compliance with OSHA’s HCS (Hazard Communication Standard).

It should include the following:

  • The name of the person who handles maintaining the binder
  • Expectations of the responsible party
  • Details on how to use the safety data sheets
  • Information about what the binder includes such as an index

Section 2: Safety Data Sheets

Section 2 should contain all your safety data sheets. To make navigation simpler, each sheet has a page number that aligns with the index from Section 1. In this way, users can quickly find what they need in no time!
Adhering to OSHA guidelines, each Safety Data Sheet (SDS) contains an average of 16 sub-sections.

Section 3: Educational Materials

In the final section of your binder, all necessary knowledge and resources. These should be stored somewhere accessible. It should include OSHA publications and other relevant materials. Taking note of these educational tools is essential for anyone responsible in this area to stay informed.

Making an MSDS Binder

Selecting the ideal binder to store your MSDS book is not as simple as you may think. There are a variety of styles available. It’s important to make sure you choose one that best meets your needs.

For your SDS book, we highly suggest investing in a poly binder because it is not only economical but lightweight. It’s also flexible enough to cope with the rigors of manufacturing environments. Moreover, its durability will ensure that it can withstand any weather conditions and remain intact for years to come.

Step 1 – Inventory Your Products

The first step is to work out what items need to go in your MSDS binder. To ensure everyone’s safety, only materials that need to be handled with extra precaution should be stored in your MSDS binder.

Step 2 – Find an SDS Template Sheet Online

Once you have constructed your list of hazardous materials, searching for the relevant MSDS sheets is a relatively easy task.

Simply type “MSDS” and the material name into an online search engine to locate all the necessary information.

Manufacturers of hazardous materials are required to offer Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) free of charge. This is under federal regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Customers should receive them when they make their first purchase.

Step 3 – Create an MSDS Index

Once the MSDS sheets have been gathered, need to create an index for quick access to each item’s data.

OSHA does not dictate a specific structure for the index. You can create any type of easy-to-navigate, organized system. This can range from simple inventory lists with page numbers to more comprehensive layouts. Ensuring your employees have expedient access to important information is the important part.

MSDS Online Databases

An alternative way of organizing your MSDS documents is through an online database.

Creating an MSDS online database is a great way to ensure your organization has easy access to all relevant safety information. An online database allows you to store and manage many documents at once. It also provides the ability to track changes over time, search quickly through indexed data, and securely store the data.

To create an online MSDS database, start by inputting all relevant information into your chosen database system. Be sure to label fields clearly so that searches can be made accurately.

Additionally, it’s important to ensure the accuracy of your database. Regular reviews and updates will help keep your records current and accurate.

Tips for Choosing a Database for MSDS

When choosing a database for MSDS documents, it’s important to consider your organization’s specific needs. Look at the features that each database offers to make sure they meet your business’s requirements.
Here are some things to look out for:

Security and Privacy

Make sure the database supports secure access and can offer end-to-end encryption of data. MSDS documents are essential for workplace safety and security. It is important to ensure that these records remain secure.

To protect your business from potential risk, invest in a reliable system with end-to-end encryption. Choose a tool with secure access capabilities.


Ensure that the platform can scale as your organization grows. -User experience. Consider the user interface, its ease of use, and how intuitive it is for users to navigate through documents.

Advanced Search Capabilities

Make sure you have detailed filter options that enable you to find exactly what you need quickly and efficiently.

Advanced search capabilities are essential for MSDS document organization. This is especially useful if you have a lot of chemicals in your inventory.
A searchable database can be useful in the event of an emergency. Having a comprehensive filtering system can help to streamline the process of finding the documents you need.


Customizing an MSDS document database is important because it allows your business to better organize and manage your inventory.

It allows you to track specific information, such as hazardous materials, supplier contact information, product descriptions, and even expiration dates for MSDS documents. By customizing an MSDS document database, organizations can ensure that all MSDS documents are properly stored, tracked, and updated.

Creating a customized MSDS document database can also help organizations avoid costly fines for non-compliance with safety regulations. By organizing MSDS documents in one place, organizations can easily reference them during audits or other inspections.

Maintenance and Support

Having an online MSDS database ensures that all MSDS documents are stored in a centralized, secure location for quick and efficient access by personnel who need them.

Maintenance and support services ensure that the MSDS document database is properly updated regularly with new materials, and remains compliant with applicable regulations at all times. It also helps prevent data loss due to technical errors or malicious attacks on the system.

You’ll also be able to make use of analytics. This will provide your business with valuable insights into usage analytics such as which types of MSDS documents are most frequently accessed to improve safety practices within their organization even further over time.

Pros and Cons of Using a Binder or Database for MSDS Storage

Storing and managing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) is an important part of workplace safety. Organizations can choose to store their MSDS in either a physical binder or an online database.

There is no single better method, a lot of it is down to personal preference, how your organization is and how many items are in your inventory.

Pros of Using a Binder

  • Easy to reference – A physical binder simplifies the process of finding and referencing document
  • Easily portable – A binder can be easily shared between departments or taken off-site for training purposes

Pros of Using a Database

  • Automated updates – Online databases allow organizations to automate updates so that their MSDS are always up to date
  • Easy searches – Databases usually provide detailed search filters allowing users to quickly find relevant information

Cons of Using a Binder

  • Prone to damage – Physical binders can easily become damaged due to wear and tear, making them unreliable over time
  • Time-consuming – Storing documents in binders can also be time-consuming as it requires manual inputting and sorting

Cons of Using a Database

  • Initial cost – Setting up the database may require some financial investment, depending on the platform chosen
  • User experience – If the user interface is too complex, users may have difficulty navigating through documents or searching for specific information

Need More Help Organising Your MSDS Documents?

A solid MSDS document storage system is an important part of workplace safety. Companies need to find a way to store them that works for their business. Whether you choose to use physical binders or online databases, the key is understanding which will work best for your organization.

If you need help organizing MSDS documents, our team of experts would be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide assistance in setting up a system tailored specifically to your needs. Contact us today.