Should Your Business Have a Shred-All Policy?

What are Confidential Documents?

Many businesses do not pay sufficient attention to securely handling confidential paper waste. Yet if staff had a clear-cut idea of what classifies as confidential documents, they would at least be more conscious of how they’re handling and disposing of different data.

For the sake of ease, you can effectively narrow down the different types of confidential documents into three categories:

  • Personal data: customer orders, delivery notes, invoices
  • Sensitive data: HR records, medical information.
  • Commercially confidential data: financial documents, business strategy and policy, product and patented information

These are the documents that staff should recognise as potential data threats which they should shred as second nature.

Which leads us onto shredding policy and shredding all policy for businesses.

Better Safe Than Sorry

For the avoidance of doubt, staff should get into the habit of shredding all documents, all the time as soon as they are no longer required.  Shredding documents with the right equipment should be quick and easy and could save you from the worry of a potential data breach.

Many organisations preparing for GDPR are now implementing a “shred all policy” as a matter of routine. Indeed, some best practice examples are where all waste paper bins are removed, and any paper that would have been thrown in a bin before, is now shredded.  Clear desk policies can also help with GDPR – ensuring that potentially sensitive information is locked away out of sight of visitors and third parties in your offices.

Staff should be encouraged to shred everything, little and often. That way, it becomes a part of their routine and it avoids confusion about which documents to dispose of. The average working document can be dropped into an office shredder and is rendered harmless in just a few seconds.  Working like this also prevents the build-up of a huge insecure pile of shredding which everyone dreads being sent off to shred.

If there are departments that have large amounts of shredding, for instance when clearing archives, then a suitable large departmental shredder can shred up to 40 sheets securely in less than 5 seconds, making light work of even the largest pile of documents.

Preparing for GDPR isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, so proper staff training should be a priority and certainly not overlooked.

Businesses may have to implement minor or major process changes to prepare for GDPR depending on the company’s current practices and procedures when it comes to processing personal documents.

However, having a policy for destroying internal documents and putting small or simple changes into place now can help towards GDPR compliance and save you the trouble later.


About HSM®
HSM is a global pioneer of environmental and office technology, with leading product lines like HSM SECURIO, HSM V-Press, HSM shredstar and HSM Powerline manufactured in from its Germany sites. Focusing on shredding, baling and waste compacting machinery, HSM produces a range of solutions for homes, businesses, large-scale commercial operations and other institutions, with products sold in over 100 countries.

For a consultation contact us on or 01 4097034 for assistance in choosing the right shredder for your office or organisation.