Many people use paper shredders to protect their privacy and secure themselves against identity theft. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 8.6 million people were the victims of identity theft in 2010. If you’ve decided to shred your documents, there are important steps to take to protect your physical safety when you’re protecting your privacy.
Paper shredders are designed to destroy documents by ripping them apart with sharp grinding metal teeth.If used improperly or without concern for safety, a paper shredder can be quite dangerous. Loose clothing or jewelry can get caught in a shredder, so be mindful of what is on your person when shredding documents. Fingers can get caught while attempting to remove paper jams – if you do need to remove an obstruction, make sure to turn the shredder off and unplug it.
Injuries to Children
Curious children can easily get their small fingers caught in a shredder’s teeth. Many shredders have an automatic function that leaves the shredder on while it waits to be activated when it senses paper.
Injuries to Pets
Unlike children, a pet cannot be taught the dangers of a shredder. If you have a pet, you should take precautions similar to those of parents to ensure that their pets are not injured.
Shredders also pose a fire hazard. If the paper is left jammed in a shredder and unattended to, the heat from the shredder could cause combustion. Paper shredders that are left plugged in with the automatic setting on are also at risk for causing an electrical fire.
Why you should use on-site shredding services?
Handing over the responsibility of your shredding to a certified company, shredding it on-site where you can witness it, will bring you peace of mind. You can be confident that your shredding is taken care of sufficiently, letting you get on with your job, as we get on with ours. The pros of on-site shredding can be summed up in the 3 following benefits:
Using a shredding company will give you the chance to choose when they come to shred your documents. This can be on a regular weekly or monthly basis, or as a one-off service. You only need to have your documents ready to be shredded. Shred-on-Site also provides storage for your documents in between shredding days, including lockable veneered consoles or secure wheelie bins and sacks. This means that storage is sorted and your documents don’t leave the site until they have been fully shredded.
Having your secure documents shredded on-site gives you the benefit of saving time. The shredding of documents is a fast process, which you are able to watch yourself. It saves you the time and effort of manually loading documents into your shredder (no doubt with breaks to let it cool down) day-by-day and destroying it all in one go instead. Where you have a significant amount of secure waste, this will make a significant time difference. It will also allow you to spend the time you save focusing on your business instead of document disposal.
Shredding your documents on-site will dramatically increase your security. By keeping them always on premises, then you reduce the risk of them not being kept confidential. You can be assured that the shredding place is sufficient, and done by qualified professionals. There is also the added security of being provided with secure receptacles to store paper before disposal, which mean that there is no access once documents are inside.
It was in ancient Egyptian times — this being a complete history, we must begin there — that man first took inky reed to papyrus and, not long thereafter, made his first disposable mistake: a hieroglyphic boo-boo of such embarrassing proportions he felt the need to rip it up in pieces so small nobody could see.
While man had always had an irresistible urge to express himself, he had mostly done so, up until the invention of papyrus in 4000 B.C., on immovable objects: cave walls, clay tablets and other not-easily-jettisoned, impossible-to-shred mediums. Papyrus, and its subsequent incarnations changed all that.
What man first tore up we do not know. Maybe they were symbols that pertained to his personal desires, recounted the day’s events, or listed his financial assets. Maybe it wasn’t a man, after all, who did the tearing, but man’s accountant.
In any event, shredding was born.
It would be another 5,940 years before machines were commercially produced to shred for him. But once they were, oh boy, nothing could stop them. Well, maybe a paper clip on your cheaper models. But even so, in the United States, by the year 2002, a time when not much else was thriving. “Information destruction” was a flourishing, multi million dollar industry.
Companies made the machines, companies sold the machines, and still others went mobile, arriving at business establishments with trucks equipped with grinders that chewed up and spit out in tiny shreds documents that weren’t meant for the general public to see, and maybe, once in a while, some that were.
It is generally agreed that the paper-shredding machine originated in Germany around 1935 (though, as we shall later see, an eccentric American actually came up with and patented the idea first) when a toolmaker named Adolf Ehinger, taking his inspiration from a kitchen utensil, invented a device to render thrown-away paper unreadable.
For the next three decades, shredders were used primarily by the military, government and banking industry. Most of the public wasn’t aware of their existence until they began to surface in connection with great American scandals: first, in the 1970s, with Watergate; again in the 1980s with Iran-Contra; and most recently, this year, with Enron.
In each, paper shredders — more specifically, the allegedly nefarious use thereof — became part of the story.
Like some doofus who likes to get his picture taken with celebrities, paper-shredding machines kept popping up during historic moments. Yet, for some reason, they lacked any documented history of their own. One might well ask why. Was it shredded? Forgotten? Or simply never recorded in the first place?
Many in the industry don’t know the whole story, though it was pointed out that they not the type to spill any beans. News organizations have repeatedly printed inaccurate versions. Encyclopedias contain lengthy entries on the invention of paper and the copying machine. It contains no mention of the invention, or inventor, of the shredder.
It’s almost as if paper shredders — because of their tremendous potential to abuse, disrespect, even negate, history — are getting a similar treatment by history itself.
Hence, we have pieced together the work you now hold in your hands: the complete, unexpurgated, never-before-told, not-yet-shredded history of paper shredding.
More Information can be found at articles.baltimoresun.com/2002-02-10/entertainment/0202110302_1_paper-shredders-papyrus-thereof