Wiping Safely or Shredding UNenvironmentally
The shredding industry tells us they safely destroy data bearing devices at our workplaces and that our workers will be fine. We should reflect on the processes where circuit boards are manufactured and the protection employees receive on the factory line. Employees often wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and have exhaust hoods to make work environments as safe as we can make it. Shredding service providers will tell you that they meet the current US standards. These are the same kind of regulations that protected cigarettes and certain drugs that were pulled from the market. I discussed this “shredding” matter with an ISO 14001 auditor and worker safety advocate. He explained that he recently tested the shredding machine at a company and their air filter for dangerous contaminates passed within limits. Then he did something not in the specification. He tested the carpet on the floor where the catch bin was unloaded. This area had a concentration of metals that were not safe for humans. Do you think these E-waste particles are tracked by the shoes of employees around company buildings or even their homes?
In a bulletin distributed by the State of California entitled Electronic Waste Recycling: Working Safely (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/hesis/Documents/eWaste.pdf), they state “Workers may encounter hazards in electronic waste (e-waste) recycling, including the risk of injury, hearing loss, and exposure to toxic dusts and other chemicals. These hazards can cause permanent and serious health problems and could begin without workers being aware of them. Employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace”.
We believe that there should not be e-waste in work areas (in the building or in parking lots). As an ISO 27001 certified data destruction company, we believe you should never allow a shredding company to carry disk drives to the parking lot for grinding because they break the security trust of customers and jeapordize the safety of the data.
TechR2 has many types of products and services to safely wipe and destroy data bearing devices that have reached the end of their life.
To explore these options, contact Charles Robbins
Director of Research and Development