Considering In-house Shredding?

Considering In-house Shredding?

It is interesting to identify what is actually involved in shredding office documents internally opposed to outsourcing to a professional document destruction company. It is common to perceive that it is more secure and cost effective to manage this office practice in-house which in most circumstances is incorrect.

We have identified a number of aspects that should be considered before you invest in a common office shredding machine. You may be surprised what you have not considered in your evaluation and understand why it has become very customary to outsource this requirement to CTI Shredding & Recycling.

General Employee Involvement

Some staff should not be exposed to the company’s sensitive office documentation. All businesses generate personal and professional information that refers to staff and customers which should remain confidential under all circumstances. It would be detrimental to any businesses reputation if this information was leaked out and used improperly as a result.

We have found it common that office juniors/clerks are tasked to operate internal office shredders. For obvious reasons this level of staff should not be privileged to any confidential business information. Due to this concern some businesses may allow more senior staff to carry out this activity. In this case, any cost effectiveness would be challenged based on the higher income earnings. Senior staff should be doing what they are paid to do and not medial office duties.

Staff Labour Costs

There is a significant number of tasks associated with an office shredding process which are generally overlooked. In addition to simply feeding paper into an office shredding machine the entire process should be considered which includes;

  • Removal of staples, paper/bulldog clips, lever arch files etc.
  • The deconstruction and removal of archive boxes
  • Fixing machine paper jams
  • Regular machine operational maintenance
  • Cleaning/vacuuming the shredding station
  • Staff equipment training
  • Equipment trouble shooting
  • Emptying of bags containing processed shredded paper

Equipment Breakdown

Basic affordable office shredding machines that are most commonly purchased are subject to regular breakdown and jamming. The machines are designed for low volume use only and not robust to handle heavy and continuous work. Equipment reviews suggest basic office shredders are notorious for overheating and jamming.

Service technicians do not attend site to repair low standard mass produced equipment and therefore the machine needs to be returned to the manufacturer which is time consuming. In the absence of the shredding machine office waste continues to be generated and back logs may become agonizing to process.

Office Shredding Machine Capability

We acknowledge that an office shredding machine may be handy to destroy the odd document onsite that you prefer immediately destroyed.

However, these machines are not designed to manage any volume shredding nor can they cater for other destruction work that is common in the office environment such as archive records. This can include material such as diaries, portfolios, cheque butts, bound credit and financial reports which simply cannot be processed by a standard office shredding machine.


If you as business do not make it simple for staff to securely destroy office documentation then staff may look for the easier disposal option.

Staff may be inclined to slip documents into the general waste rather than take the time to learn how to use a machine or locate the person who operates the shredding machine. If the shredding machine operation is staff specific, there will need to be a provision to stage documents prior to the in-house shredding. If this practice is not secure, documents sentenced for destruction may become accessible to other office staff and visitors which is a security concern.


Requesting office staff to carry out manual tasks exposes the company to new OH&S risks which may not be imminent with their normal duties.

Some areas of concern are;

  • Back/Neck/Shoulder Injuries – Lifting boxes and bags
  • Cuts/Abrasions – Removal of staples/clips/binders/fasteners
  • Electrocution – Overheating Machine
  • Respiratory Distress – Inhaling dust particles generated from shredding
  • Burns – Dust and shredded paper is a fire hazard

We would suggest that you introduce the following risk mitigation as the bare minimum if you choose to purchase an office shredder and allow your staff to operate this equipment.

  • Manual Handling Training
  • Equipment Lock Out and Tag Out Office Procedures
  • Equipment Risk Assessment
  • Staff PPE – Gloves and P1 Dust Mask

The CTI Shredding & Recycling Difference

Staff Involvement – All CTI personnel involved in the document destruction process are CTI Logistics staff members and not subcontractors who have signed a ‘confidentiality clause’ in their letter of employment.

Labour Costs – Our commercial shredding plant and equipment does all the work allowing us to pass on the economy to our clients. There is no need to remove staples, paper clips, binders or foreign material such as plastic, rubber and tape. All material is shred and any paper contaminants separated in the recycling process.

Equipment Breakdown – Our commercial shredding plant is designed and built robust to operate all day long. Daily maintenance and on ongoing scheduled servicing ensures the plant remains in perfect running condition which can operate without interruption.

Shredder Capability – Our AXO608E commercial shredder has a 2 tonne paper per hour thorough put which is equivalent to 800 reams of paper of 400,000 individual sheets.

Confidentiality – We provide secure lockable office destruction bins and cabinets which can be strategically placed throughout your office. These secure containers can clearly be identified and used by staff effortlessly. Once documents have been binned document reclamation is impossible without key access.

OH&S – All CTI staff are fully trained in the document destruction process. Manual Handling and Equipment training is conducted to mitigate risk. The training undertaken is documented and validated by staff ensuring a training record is kept for reference. Periodic refresher courses are held to maintain operational compliance and staff are notified and updated with any procedural changes that may occur from time to time.

Our current Workers Compensation insurance a sum insured $100 million for common law liability ensures our staff are covered at all times including at your business premise.

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