Document shredder causes bodily burns

Investigations - Following an incident involving a document shredder, the INQUEST laboratory was asked to investigate.


The manager of an office supplies retailer tries to repair a document shredder that was blocked and returned by a customer. During this attempt, the device seriously burns the operator by expelling hot gases onto his hand.

The INQUEST laboratory was appointed at the request of the manufacturer’s insurer after two such instances were reported.

INQUEST’s know-how

A lengthy study (several weeks) of the product in the laboratory, on a new product, highlighted a number of design errors.

In general, the user can very easily block the mechanism without being aware of it, and the release mode provided by the design does not include the motor lockout that exists in the other modes. This is a design flaw.

Following this study, it was very easy to reproduce, in the laboratory, an incident very similar to the real case that was reported.