If you have encountered an office setting, it is likely that you have seen an office paper shredder. They seem to be the perfect solution to the ever-growing pile of paper that you have stashed away in your office or your home, but are they? They pose multiple threats to an organization that you might not be aware of. Before you invest in one, read below to find out the threats and challenges they pose. 

Dedicated Office Space:

An office paper shredder, although not large, requires a dedicated space near an outlet – preferably in an undisturbed location. This allows for shredding without hindering an employee’s productivity or workspace. 


30% of print jobs are never even picked up from the printer. Given that an average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year, this number adds up. 

A standard office shredder can shred an average of 15 sheets of papers at once. It also requires an employee to dedicate their time to shred the documents. This could require hours of their valuable time that could have been spent focusing on the core business tasks.  

Taking off staples, metal rings and paper clips before feeding documents into the shredder takes additional time.


The cost of a durable office shredder ranges from anywhere between $200 to $10,000, hence, it might not seem like an overly expensive purchase. However, the costs associated with an office shredder go beyond just the upfront price. 
Shredder oil and bags always need to be kept in stock to prevent any damages. 

The average maximum lifespan of an office shredder is 36 months. It can last longer or shorter, depending on the frequency of use. Cost of maintenance needs to be accounted for all machinery, and a shredder is no exception. 
An accident or lack of regular maintenance could cause a shredder to completely breakdown – in which case it would require either a full service to fix it, or a replacement. In addition to the costs associated with that, there is also the cost of securing an alternative means to shred paper during the repair/replacement process. 

Dedicating an hour every day equals to spending over half a week’s worth of company time per month shredding.

Health and Safety Risk:

Lacerations from the metal blades and severed fingers are the most common injuries sustained from a paper shredder. 
Trying to remove paper jams without unplugging the machine first also results in multiple injuries. Moreover, if a shredder and its power cord are placed in an area of high foot-traffic, it can cause tripping and subsequent injuries. 

Fire Hazards:

A common issue of the office shredder is overheating. This can be caused by many factors.
In case of a jam, a shredder can easily overheat, and the motor can burn out. An automatic shredder that is left plugged in can lead to an electric fire. As the motor of a paper shredder is small, it needs a period of resting time frequently so as to avoid overheating. 
The shredded waste needs to be emptied out regularly, along with the accumulated dust – either is capable of causing a fire. 
In addition, if staples, paper clips and metal rings are not removed from the paper before feeding it into the shredder, it can cause a jam which can lead to a fire as well.


Most office shredders shred paper documents into vertical strips that can easily be reassembled. This leaves the company susceptible to a data breach that costs a firm an average of $3.86 million.

Additionally, it also increased the risk of internal breach as generally, an employee is tasked with duties of shredding paper. This ends up leaving confidential and sensitive information in their hands. 


A lot of the times, businesses are not aware of what happens to the shredded paper once it leaves the building. If proper recycling measures are not in place, the shredded paper could end up in landfills which is neither great for the environment, nor the privacy of your data. Unsafe disposal can put all your data in the hands of a dumpster diver and leave you vulnerable to data and security breaches. 

Start Protecting Your Data 

So how can you shred your documents without having to worry about the associated risks? 
A professional shredding company can save you from all the downfalls of an office paper shredder. When you take into account the cost and time associated with an office shredder, it is in your best interest to hire a commercial shredding company. The Salumatics’ We-Cycle program ensures that you don’t have to worry about the security from the second your files leave your hands. When we shred documents, we make sure that 100% of them get recycled into new paper. In addition, we make our service accessible to all with our no-frills pricing structure. To learn more, visit the We-Cycle page