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MAPP Plastics Discussion Forum

The MAPP Plastic Industry Discussion Forum allows members to rapidly communicate with each other. Post both questions and answers to questions that other MAPP members have about any industry topic from material and process issues to R&E Tax Credits and other business issues.

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Posted:  04 Jun 2008 16:16
Dear MAPP Business Leaders:

I am using MAPP's new website to obtain your input on how you are managing your MSDS process. I posted this question the other day, but wanted to use  MAPP's built-in email feature to get immediate input from you.

OSHA requires that Plastics Businesses keep MSDS sheets for hazardous materials on file and readily accessible to our employees for information purposes and in case of an emergency. Because of the many different materials and chemicals that plastics companies use in the plastics industry, the number of MSDS Sheets and the process to keep them up to date is very difficult and time consuming.

Are there are any best practices to meeting the  requirements of maintaining MSDS sheets for plastics comapnies?

Thanks for any comments or clues.

My phone number is 317-776-0860.

Thanks for any input you may have.

Lindsey Hahn
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 20:16
They come in with the material and one of our staff members updates them in the book. The book is located outside the maintenance office where it is accessible to all employees.
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 20:18
We just keep them in alphabetical order in a bid binder. I really do not know of any other way to do it.
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 20:24
We here at CEW try to handle out MSDS file: As materials are ordered to request a current MSDS sheet. As material is received we file all sheets in a 3 ring binder alphabetically per type of material. Within that type of material, all material numbers are in numerical order. WE have found this to work for out purpose.

Manar Inc
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 20:27
We have all sheets in 2 large binders that hold all of our MSDS sheets.

They are referenced with a table of contents in the front.   The table
of contents is in alphabetical order by vendor.  Each vendor has a number assigned...(Advanced Elastomer = 1, Amoco = 2, etc...) All MSDS sheets from each vendor would be referenced as pg 1-1, 1-2, 1-3.  1 corresponding to the vendor.

Table of contents looks something like this:

Amoco     / Polysulfone  / P1710...(example) / 2-1    /   1/2/05
The next material from Amoco would be in sleeve 2-2.

We keep them in a protective sleeve, with only the sleeve being referenced with a number (since some MSDS sheets are multiple pages) We use the little circle dot stickers on the bottom right corner of each sleeve, referencing the "page #" in the Table of Contents.

Every time we receive new MSDS sheets, they are put in the front of the binder.  Once per month, during our monthly safety meeting, we FIRST update the Table of Contents, then refile all of the new ones in the appropriate sleeve, or create a new sleeve if necessary.

Very important, leave a blank sleeve, and blank in the Table of Contents every few vendors or so, for add ons.

They are kept in the plant, accessible to all.  It does seem like a lot of work, but it is necessary and a requirement of OSHA.
Once the system is in place, it's not that time consuming.
Most importantly, should an employee have the need to find the information quickly, it is there with quick reference.

Bamar Plastics
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 20:29
We require purchasing to obtain MSDS's for anything purchased and
maintain them in binders.  We have reference guides so an employee can
look up by manufacturer or by material part number.  It is a labor some
The Best Practice piece that we recently started a random audit where
EVERY EMPLOYEE must list and find 3 items and identify if they were able
to find the sheet and the revision date of the MSDS.  This helps us make
sure we have all data sheets and keeps everyone familiar with the
process of locating information.
We would be interested in hearing what others do for best practices.

Engineered Plastics Corp
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 20:30
We just keep books posted on the floor that are updated periodically.  Not a best practice.

Posted:  04 Jun 2008 21:37
A few months ago I changed all of our MSDS sheets from paper to digital PDF documents and stored them all on our internal system for everyone to view when needed. This has seemed to help in keeping all of the MSDS sheets up to date and makes for finding a certain one extremely easy. If you have any questions about this please let me know.

Team 1 Michigan
Posted:  04 Jun 2008 22:00   Last Edited By: Admin
We utilize a service called Safetec Compliance System Inc to house our
MSDS.  The following is our process:

1)    MPC requires that our suppliers send MSDS prior to, or at the time
of, delivery for any new plastics, material or chemicals.
2)    MSDS come into MPC via e-mail, fax and hard copy.
3)    MSDS are forwarded to The Safety/Environmental Department (Walworth
4)    The Safety/Environmental Department (Walworth HR) reviews the MSDS to
ensure that it is:
            a)    The MSDS is on the MSDS database (internet database)
            b)    The MSDS is the most current version
5)    If the revision on the MSDS changes the outdated MSDS is archived as
6)    The service sends backup CDs to MPC with all MSDS data to use in
cases of an internet issue.

Notes : No hard copies are kept unless specifically maintained by the
department requesting to keep hard copies.

Our MPC MSDS Website is:

MSDS Company Website (Safetec Compliance System Inc)

John Rau, Environmental / Safety Program Manager

Miniature Precision Components
Posted:  05 Jun 2008 15:16
We request MSDS on the PO.  Paper MSDS are scanned to .pdf file and linked to an in-house Access database we wrote so users can search for the eletronic MSDS by keyword, mfg, chemical name, etc.  Access to the application is provided via kiosk PC. Local EMS is also provided a copy.  Originals are retained in a binder.

I'd love to see the IDES database subscription include an optional MSDS subscription!

Eric Paules
Posted:  09 Jun 2008 22:23
Our FOUNDATION Chemical Inventory and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) Imaging and Management service provides digital images for all current and archived MSDSs. Currently used product MSDSs are verified and/or updated so you can be assured of receiving up-to-date data. Data access is available via Internet access through Cornerstone's website and secured by confidential client password. The service includes preparation of SARA Tier II reports as required and a Form R candidates list is also provided. Past year SARA documents are accessable online, and a backup CD of the MSDS images can be provided on request.

Please contact me directly via email at for more information or call me at 574-457-3621.

Bill Hess
Posted:  09 Jun 2008 23:59
Hi Lindsey:

I see most of these in a yellow MSDS binder located ont the plant floor or in the a centralized location.  Alot is customers are moving to an electronic filing system on the companies main computer drive for 24 hour acesss.
Posted:  30 Jun 2008 15:45
We keep our material and chemical MSDS sheets in seperate yellow MSDS binders locate in the break room. 

The sheets are kept in alphabitical order by common material or chemical name. 

Keeping the material and chemical sheets seperate seems to help with keeping the binders up to date and mangeable

Posted:  08 Jul 2008 17:37
We keep ours in a binder. I like the digital idea I think that is something we will look into. Our safety team reviews the binder annually to make sure we haven't missed anything or that we are not keeping MSDS's on things no longer used.

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