It is estimated that the average American office worker uses over a hundred pounds of paper annually for various tasks. When you think about a company of a hundred employees, you realize that’s ten thousand pounds of paper! One can only guess how many Social Security numbers, payroll designations, legal documents, and other important notes are printed and passed around a building in one year.

As companies turn to greener options like increased utilization of e-mail and word processing documents, the need to store excess paper is certain to fade. Yet, to simple dump everything in the trash poses risks to corporate and personal security, so the best option for cleaning house is to start shredding.

Should a company handle document shredding in-house? Believe it or not, there are risks associated with that as well. By hiring a licensed, bonded contractor to shred your business papers, you can save your company money and time and maintain productivity. Here’s how:

Employee production remains on company work. Say you have half a ton of back-logged documents to shred. To take a worker off his current task and move him to something else slow production. Contracting a professional shredding service eliminates the need to restructure.

In-house security leaks are reduced. As an employer, you are certain you have hired trustworthy people to help run your business. Placing one person in charge of shredding private documents, however, grants him access to information that may not be his to know. To prevent possible leaks, hiring an outside company is the better solution.

Safety measures must be recognized. Depending on the type of shredder you plan to use in-house, your company could be held liable if an employee has an accident. Somebody inexperienced in mass shredding could get hurt if clothing gets caught in a machine. A professional shredding service, with workers trained in the field, reduces this risk.

A professional shredder completes the job. Say you have a large amount of paper to shred. Removing employees from their work to take care of it could lead to problems with the actual destruction of the documents. Somebody may thing the job too arduous and boring and might not shred as well as needed, thereby allowing important information to be found and abused. Using a professional shredding service ensures the job is done correctly.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Norfolk document shredding and local PPC advertising.