Paper Shredder Safety Alert

Last Editorial Review: 2/15/2006

Consumer model paper shredders are growing in popularity. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants you and your family to be safe if you have a paper shredder. From January 2000 through September 2005, CPSC received 50 reports of incidents involving finger amputations, lacerations, and other finger injuries from paper shredders. The majority of injuries were to young children under age 5.

Young children are interested in imitating adult activities, and children may try to activate the shredder when an adult is not present. This puts children at risk of injury.

Injuries can occur even when an adult is supervising a child. Children's fingers can be pulled into the paper shredding mechanism if they don't let the paper go.

CPSC offers the following safety tips when using a paper shredder:

  • Never allow children to operate paper shredders, even under adult supervision. Paper shredders can pull children's fingers into the shredder mechanism.
  • Place the paper shredder in an area less accessible to children.
  • Unplug the paper shredder power cord when the shredder is not in use.
  • Do not place hands or fingers in the shredder opening.
  • Do not operate a paper shredder while wearing loose fitting clothing that may enter the shredder opening.
  • Keep hair and items, such as a tie or a long necklace, away from the shredder opening.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (

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