The UniKeep Guide to Selecting and Using Three-Ring Industrial Binders

how to organize sds binder
posted by: Allison West

Originally published September 2017; updated and refreshed Feb. 8, 2019

A safety story from the past

Just before he sailed on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, Captain Edward John Smith was quoted in the press as saying:

“When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experiences of nearly forty years at sea I merely say uneventful .… in all my experience I have never been in an accident of any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea, a brig, the crew of which was taken off in a small boat in charge of my third officer. I never saw a wreck and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort.”

Photo from History Crunch
industrial product

Haunting words aren’t they? Maybe his tenure and number of successful voyages made Smith a bit complacent. Today his words serve as a powerful cautionary tale to anyone who thinks accidents “can’t happen to them.”

Accidents happened daily in the workplaces of Smith’s time. Industrial age factories were notoriously dangerous, dirty places, riddled with disease and machine hazards. It was common to employ children, some as young as 5 or 6. If a worker became hurt on the job and couldn’t perform their duties, they were let go with no access to medical care or lost wages.

Read more about the U.S. Industrial Revolution here.

Since 1913, workplace-related deaths have fallen by 80 percent, thanks in large part to technological innovations, safety associations, and federal policy changes.

Since its first release more than 40 years ago, OSHA’s Guidelines for Safety and Health programs have evolved to reflect changes in the economy, workplace, and safety and health issues.

A simple safety question

OSHA requires industrial workplaces to keep track of all safety hazards, illnesses, injuries, and close calls/near misses. Their housekeeping regulation requires certain employers to prepare and maintain records of serious workplace injuries and illnesses.

Anyone acquainted with OSHA’s numerous safety regulations and the related documents understands why the to housekeep regulation can seem overwhelming.

So just what is the best way to organize and store all these documents?

  • In this blog, you’ll learn about UniKeep heavy-duty industrial binders made specifically for storing and organizing safety compliance documents, what they’re used for and the types of information they should contain.

See how UniKeep industrial products organize, store and protect:

A tough binder for harsh environments

SDS Binders

You might be wondering, “How is a UniKeep industrial binder different from other binders out there?”

Here’s how.

UniKeep’s compliance and SDS binders are case-style three-ring binders. They’re unique because they’re manufactured as a fully enclosed case that opens and closes with a snap. All your important documents and records are protected from loss and damage inside the case.

  • These binders are made of extremely durable polypropylene, so they stand up to the wear and tear of harsh industrial environments. As tough as they are, they’re still incredibly lightweight.
  • And their bright, highly visible designs are easily seen and quickly located, a must in any industrial setting.

Customize your UniKeep binder

Once you select a UniKeep industrial binder, you have some custom options to consider too.

  • Select plastic or metal rings
  • Imprint with a company logo and bilingual text
  • Choose an extra-large capacity version for even more storage
  • Available in five sizes, including XL – with standard and multiple compartment options.
  • Add extra UniKeep accessories such as tabbed dividers, adhesive pockets, and sheet protectors.

Putting it all together – 4 types of industrial three-ring binders

Using UniKeep’s compliance binders is a great way to keep each category of safety-related material organized and at the ready.

UniKeep offers four types of industrial binders:

 Safety Data Sheets (SDS) binder

  • UniKeep Safety Data Sheets (SDS) binder
  • Lock Out/Tag Out (LOTO) binder
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) binder
  • Emergency Procedures binder.


1. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) Binder

Large Compartment Binders

If you need even more space, the SDS binder is also available in an extra-large capacity — called the UniKeep Extreme Binder — with either a 2-inch or 3-inch spine.

  • The extreme binder has an extra case inside. It functions as a “case within a case” for even more organization and separation of materials.

OSHA Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) contains information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity, and environmental) and how to work safely with the chemical products.

They detail:

  • all hazards of a product and how to use it safely
  • what to expect if the recommendations are not followed
  • what to do if accidents occur
  • how to recognize symptoms of overexposure
  • what to do if such incidents occur

2. Lock Out/Tag Out Binder

Lock Out Tag Out Binder

“Lockout/Tagout” or LOTO, refers to specific practices and step-by-step procedures that are meant to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment. It also refers to procedures that protect against the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

Machines can present hazards even when they’re not in operation and OSHA requires that workers need to be made aware of them.

Read more about developing a safer LOTO program here.

3. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Binder

Standard operating procedures

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations.

  • SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality, and uniformity of performance.
  • SOPs should also aim to reduce miscommunication on how things are done and result in fewer compliance issues.


Examples of standard operating procedures include:

  • What protective gear you need for walking through a manufacturing facility
  • How to disinfect an examination room after a patient visit
  • How to properly operate a nail gun

4. Emergency Procedures Binder

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation that requires immediate action. Although it’s upsetting, an emergency still requires us to be non-emotional and logical while managing it.

That’s when written procedures can help. They help decrease panic and increase the likelihood of a measured, planned response.

  • An emergency procedure is a plan of specific steps and actions to be conducted in a certain order or manner, in response to an emergency event.
  • Examples: active shooter; a telephoned threat; severe weather events (tornadoes, fire; water; lightning), etc.


 emergency procedure binder

Ready to get started?

Now that you know what types of safety compliance binders are available, how are you planning to use them to document safety-related procedures and plans at your workplace?

UniKeep products can be customized and are used by small and large companies alike. We can combine your ideas with our developmental expertise to create a product that is distinctly your own.

Call UniKeep today at 800-829-8117


Additional Health and Safety Resources

Learn more about starting a Safety and Health program at your workplace.

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