Security shredders are essential tools for the protection of proprietary and confidential information, they facilitate secure disposal of confidential documents via shredding of paper.
The utility of this equipment however has to be handled with proper safety precautions in mind; it features sharp cutting surfaces that can be hazardous should you be careless.
Adequate safety practices should be cultivated to minimize and eliminate chances of injury when operating a shredder.
Pre-Use Safety Inspection
These are a few checklists you have to mentally tick before you begin your shredding activities for the day.
- Familiarize yourself with relevant safety information provided by the shredder operators manual.
- Before operations, properly inspect the shredder for damage or disrepair.
- Inspect the shredder’s electrical cord for fraying or exposure and the plug for any defects.
- Should the shredder fail the Pre-Use inspection, notify your supervisor or HSE personnel, unplug the shredder and remove it from service by tagging with an “UNSAFE – DO NOT USE” sign.
These are important safety guidelines to follow, once you’ve cleared your shredder for operations and your shredding activities have begun.
Secure your personal items and effects
The first thing to do before you start shredding your papers is to secure your personal items and effects to avoid the embarrassing scenario of getting stuck in the shredder.
- Tie back and adequately in pack long hair
- Secure loose clothing
- Take off on long jewelry
- Remove badges and ID tags
- Properly inspect yourself and secure anything else that might get sucked in by the shredder
Do not put hands in the shredder mouth
Don’t, absolutely do not put your hands anywhere near the shredder opening. Do well to keep your hands clear of the shredder mouth and never force paper into the shredder, always feed paper smoothly.
To enable a safer shredding experience, you can opt for shredders with advanced safety features that disable operations once motion is sensed near the throat area.
Know how to turn the shredder on and off
You need to know how to turn your shredder on and off in the case of any emergency. Something that shouldn’t be shredded might get stuck, you’ll want to quickly turn off power to the shredder in the fastest way possible.
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You can cut the power by using the power button, flipping the socket switch or totally unplugging the shredder’s plug. Consider your best options and aim for safety and speed when choosing your course of action.
Remove Paper Clips and Staples
Remove paper clips and Staples from your papers before shredding, this will minimize the chances of your shredder jamming during operation.
Shred paper in small quantities
To avoid jamming, shred papers in small quantities and don’t try to over-stuff the shredder due to haste.
In an event of a jam, do not reach to clear the jam, instead use the reverse button or consult a qualified personnel.
Let the shredder cool down
Shredders produce heat as they shred, the users’ manual will indicate how long the shredder can safely operate before it needs to cool down. Information about cooling time is also included in the text. The advisable cooling time is 10-15 minutes.
Don’t forget to follow these instructions, always have them at the back of your mind to prevent any accidental hazards.