In-house paper shredding is a convenient way to destroy sensitive documents, but it's important to do it correctly. Too often, people can make simple mistakes that can lead to serious consequences. Here are some of the most common in-house shredding mistakes:
Shredder Maintenance Failures
Shredders must be regularly serviced, or else they will quickly become damaged and unusable. Most people do not have the time to effectively clean and oil their shredders on a regular basis, so the shredder tends to just sit between uses, gathering dust and dirt that can cause the machinery to simply fall into disrepair.
It is a major liability for your business if the shredder is not properly maintained and causes an accident. You could be sued for negligence if someone is injured by your shredder, either through somebody getting their fingers caught in the machinery while shredding, or an accident during maintenance from an inexperienced employee.
Another common issue with in-house shredding is improper use. People can try to shred items that are too thick or too tough for the machine, or even wet, causing it to jam. This can cause serious damage to the blades and motor, as well as create a big mess that will need to be cleaned up.
Shredders are designed to handle a specific type of paper and using anything other than that type of paper can damage the blades and render the machine useless. Many people mistakenly think that any size of paper can be shredded, but this is not the case. Smaller pieces of paper should be shredded first to avoid damaging the blades. Foreign objects in the shredder such as staples and paper clips can get caught in the blades and cause them to break.
Non-traditional materials like credit cards, computer disks, hard drives, and more also require specialized equipment. When you do this in-house, your shredder likely can’t properly handle them. Yet, those you assign to the duties may feed them through anyway. This can result not only in inadequate document destruction but serious damage to your machinery. Outsourcing allows you access to all the specialized equipment needed to handle everything from paper to hard drives.
Similarly, putting too much paper into the shredder at once can also damage the blades or cause the machine to overheat and shut down. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for use, or you risk damaging your shredder.
Most personal shredders aren’t designed to deal with constant use. They’re for home use, taking care of old bills, and small amounts of personal information. It’s likely that your company has lots of bulk files that need to be disposed of all at once instead of on a regular basis, and your shredder could easily not be up to the job. The result is that the blades get jammed, and the motor can overheat and even catch fire.
Outsourcing to third-party shredding companies near you like PROSHRED® Southern New Jersey allows you access to all the specialized equipment needed to handle everything from paper to hard drives.
Routine Scheduling Delays
Let’s face it—shredding documents in house requires you to deal with taking time out of your normal and busy routine to destroy confidential information. There will be times when you believe you don't have enough time for it, and it gets overlooked. At this point, legal compliance concerns come into play. Simply make a phone call to an outsourcing firm—the service will take care of the rest and save you money on your time!
In-House Shredding by Employees
If your employees are responsible for shredding documents, they could easily be injured in the process. Even the smallest of office shredders have blades that are sharp enough to cause serious cuts and lacerations. And if someone does get hurt while using your office shredder, you could be held liable for worker’s compensation claims.
It takes a seasoned professional to handle document destruction—it’s their job, after all. Let them do it so you can avoid potential accidents and accidents waiting to happen.