Document storage should prolong and enhance the usability of records. The records should be secure, safe, and easy to access when required. Organizations need to implement best practices to ensure all their documents are properly stored.
Use Appropriate Storage Packaging
Documents should be packaged properly to protect them. The packaging will depend on their composition and physical condition. Records have to fit comfortably in the records. Packaging also needs to be tough enough to withstand the weight of the documents and handling. Organizations also need to identify packaging materials that will keep the documents in great condition as long as it necessary.
Most active documents in an organization are stored in various filing equipment including suspension filing units and filing cabinets. The filing equipment used should allow easy access to stored documents. Active documents are retrieved regularly and some of them may be urgent, making it necessary to ensure effortless access.
Safety is another important aspect to keep in mind when it comes to filing equipment. Staff should be able to access stored records safely. If the filing equipment is stored in high places, it is important to provide safety ladders to make it easy for personnel to access the documents.
It is also necessary to guarantee records safety. Filing equipment has to be lockable. It is advisable to use central locking on filing equipment. Organizations also need to identify a keyholder who will be responsible for ensuring the documents are safe. The keyholder will also control access to the documents depending on their sensitivity.
Every organization needs to come up with standards in terms of physical record storage. Various factors need to be considered when it comes to selecting a physical building where documents will be stored. The building has to be secure and appropriate for the kind of records that you intend to store. Records are a significant resource for an organization and some of them may be irreplaceable. For this reason, a lot of care has to be taken when storing them.
The records’ lifecycle will determine the physical location they should be stored in. Active records are used frequently and this makes it necessary to store them close to the specific work areas they may be used in. This ensures convenience and promotes productivity. The drawback is that this may be a costly option for most organizations.
Semi-active records are not used frequently and this means that they can be stored off-site. Organizations should not use up valuable office space to store documents that they do not require often. Off-site storage may be considered in this situation to reduce costs. The off-site storage locations should be secure and clean. The documents should be stored in strong boxes on quality shelving to keep them in great condition as long as they are in storage.
Inactive records should be disposed or stored in archives if they will be used in future. Stringent conditions need to be followed when archiving documents to ensure they are useable even after several years of storage.