Management Techniques to Stretch the Life of Your NSA Listed Classified Shredders

December 10, 2013 at 10:32 am by SEM

Classified destruction has always been an expensive process. Here are a few thoughts on how to lower this cost if you depend on NSA listed office shredders to do the job.

Placement of high security crosscut shredders can be a key determinant of their life span. How? The most common misuse of classified shredders is to shred paper clips or other metal items that can cause catastrophic damage to a cutting head. Preventing misuse is probably the single most important thing you can do to extend the life of a shredder.

In my experience, the worst placement is in a hallway where individuals have access to use these shredders without being observed by others. It only takes a fraction of a second to ruin a good shredder. When people are left alone they just seem to be more careless. On the other hand, the shredders that I see last the longest are the ones in sight of the Security Manager’s desk. People are much more careful when they are reminded that someone can and will hold them accountable. So just by placing shredders near a responsible individual you can extend their life.

Signs are another helpful idea. Occasionally I go in organizations that have had misuse problems and see creative signs. I have seen signs on the front and tops of machines. What I really like are posters on the wall behind shredders warning not to shred paper clips or staples. The best policy is to require users to clean documents of clips or staples before they even approach a shredder. If that idea is unworkable, a small table placed nearby where folks can stage what needs to be shredded and remove fasteners is better than nothing.

If you can make someone responsible for changing bags and oiling, you will also get more life out of your shredders. If you can’t, make sure folks know where these supplies are located.

Periodic e-mails advising of problems can also help. If you end up replacing a shredder because of carelessness, consider sending an e-mail discussing the down time, where they can go because it is down, and the cost for repair or more likely replacement.

A reasonably priced Preventative Maintenance contract is also highly recommended. A trained
service technician will perform this “scheduled” at-site service at a time convenient for you.
For more information on PM Contracts, click here: SEM Paper Shredder SERVICE

If a classified shredder is properly matched to the need and protected from abuse, there is no
reason it shouldn’t last a decade or more.

For more information on High Security Paper Shredders, visit our web site at

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