Document shredding is a common process. It is done both in-house and from a third party. This procedure’s primary benefit is maintaining the privacy of the data available to you in these documents. Whether it’s your business documents or papers containing details of your customers, the process helps to maintain the safety of the information in it.
But do you know paper shredding involves severe risks? Yes, there are various risks associated with the in-house document destruction process if done inefficiently.
Read this post to explore all risks linked with the paper destruction process.
Risks Associated with Document Shredding Process
1. Safety Hazards
It is possible to prevent most workplace safety hazards. But it is best to avoid them. The common physical dangers involved in the paper destruction process are:
- Fire Hazards
In-house shredders can lead to a fire. Most shredders automatically shut off when there is a build-up of tiny paper particles, motor overheats, overuse, and lack of oil and maintenance. Even a tiny spark could ignite the paper, which can spread to desks, walls, and carpets.
Either you purchase an expensive, high-quality machine, or you avoid shredding documents in-house and hire the services of a reputed destruction service provider.
- Allergens and Dust
Office shredders release a lot of dust and harmful particles into the air. They are usually used in copy rooms or small offices that are not properly ventilated. The paper carries allergens and dust particles. Regularly using the machine may trigger allergies or result in respiratory issues. To avoid these problems, carrying out the paper destruction process in a well-ventilated area is essential.
- Cuts and Physical Injuries
Using a document shredder in the office poses the threat of being cut or hurt by the shredder. Articles and loose clothing can also be trapped in the shredder resulting in injury. If you are using a shredder with the auto-on feature, it starts automatically when the paper is inserted. It can result in the danger of potentially catching up the finger. Make sure the equipment you use incorporates advanced safety features.
2. Risk of Information Loss/Leak
Inefficient document disposal or management can be risky for your company as it leads to information leaks or loss. Employees can make mistakes while filing, organizing, retrieving, or destroying documents.
A vital record can be stored in the incorrect spot – making it difficult to be found again. Or, the employee may accidentally bring home an important file, shred it with other papers, or leave it out anywhere in the office.
Such mistakes occur frequently and can put your company at risk. Losing details can be harmful to the company. Leaving information open or not disposing of it may take the document into the wrong hands and result in an information leak. And if your business is small, it can result in information leaks and security breaches.
3. Higher Cost of Training Employees
Many workplace employees don’t know the proper way to use a shredder. This equipment has different working mechanisms and functionalities, which employees are not trained for.
Employees that don’t know the proper way to use a shredder or don’t know proper safety measures are prone to risk injury. The common kind of injury from shredders is finger injuries, which can range from severe to mild cuts and amputations.
If you provide training to employees for using this equipment, it will place an unnecessary financial cost on your business, which must be avoided. It is best to switch to a professional team if you don’t want to engage in the hassle of training your employees and bear expensive costs.
4. Failure to Stay Updated with Privacy Laws
Document shredding protects against privacy breaches. But in-house destruction provides various roadblocks that enhance your exposure as paper shredders can be slow, they can jam, and non-shredding tasks are important.
For this reason, it is vital to shred confidential documents promptly. Once done, the shredded material must be tossed in a recycling bin or trash.
A professional document shredding company prevents privacy breaches thoroughly. Such agencies perform shredding in locked containers. They practice the destruction process in a scheduled way and have professionals with proper background screening.
5. Compliance Risks
Many businesses must comply with laws and regulations governing the disposal and handling of sensitive information, like FACTA, GLBA, and HIPAA.
If the in-office destruction does not comply with such regulations, especially if the shredding procedure is unsafe or if the shredded materials are not properly disposed of, it could put your business at risk. Failure to ensure reliable and proper document disposal could subject your business to substantial penalties, civil damages, fines, or criminal charges. It puts your business at risk and also affects your reputation or leads to hefty fines.
6. No Proof of Destruction
An in-house shredding procedure does not provide proof of destruction. Professional shredding provides documented proof of the destruction procedure. The paper records are destroyed on-site at safe premises, and you are offered a certificate of destruction.
Who is Criminally Liable in Document Shredding? What You Must Know!
Suppose you fail to follow the privacy laws and compliance norms for the document shredding process in your region. In that case, it is considered an offense, and you can be criminally liable. It is, therefore, necessary to partner with a reliable document shredding company.