Are there safety features for a shredder?

posted this on Jul 23, 2015

There is nothing more important for the health of your business than protecting you confidential information, as well as that of your customers and employees. Most businesses today have one, if not several, shredders on site, so that they can destroy sensitive documents whenever they have the need.

If you have found yourself in the market, you may have discovered that shopping for a document shredder for your business or home office can be a bit daunting. You know that you and your business want the security that in house shredding offers, but there are so many machines on the market, with so many specifications, capabilities and features, that trying to sort it all out can make your head spin. In this article, we will discuss a few of the higher quality general use office shredders out there and some of the special safety features that you should be looking for when you are searching for a shredder.

  1. Sensors/Guards. Most of the better shredders on the market offer some sort of safety feature that stops the shredder if stray objects-such as ties, shirt tails, and even fingers and hands, get too close to the shredding mechanism. Some machines, such as some of those offered by MBM Corporation, have an electronically controlled, transparent safety shield. GBC corporation offer machines with a similar mechanism they call the “Interlock System.” Another of the top manufacturers of shredders, Fellowes, offers on some of its machines what they call “SafeSense” which is a special kind of sensor that can detect if any body part gets too close to the shredder opening. Most of the better machines also are equipped with mechanisms to shut off the cutting shafts if the door to the bin is opened.
  2. Shields. These days, sensitive information comes in may forms, and one of the great features of the more modern shredders is that they are able to shred CDs and DVDs. Unfortunately this enhanced capability brings with it a danger of flying shards of plastic. If you are getting a shredder that is capable of shredding CDs and DVDs (as most of the better ones on the market are) you should make sure that it comes equipped with a safety shield that prevents stray shards of plastic from flying from the feed opening.
  3. Jam Proof System. Paper jams can be a potential problem with some of the lower-end document shredders on the market. Sometimes, users don’t know a particular machine’s capabilities, or fees the paper in at an odd angle. Often, if such jams occur, the user will attempt to fix it themselves, and that is a dangerous situation. What you should be looking for, then is a machine that either shuts off in the event of a paper jam, and features a safety reverse or release system, or a high end machine that simply won’t jam. Fellowes has some shredders that advertise a system that electronically measures paper thickness and that will power through the occasional misfed paper. GBC, another top shredder manufacturer, offers a similar “Jam Free” system.
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