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Heel Strap, Wrist Strap and Other ESD Safety Essentials

Sometimes the smallest items make the biggest change. Seemingly small, heel straps and wrist straps are an effective safety solution in the workplace. When used correctly these items are able to prevent ESDs in an ESD Protected Area (EPA), reduce the risk of product failure, and protect inventories. To learn more, take a look at these ESD safety essentials now:

ESD Wrist Strap

An ESD wrist strap is designed to dissipate static electricity safely to Earth without causing electrostatic damage to static-sensitive electronics. When worn correctly, an ESD wrist strap grounds the person and prevents electrostatic events from occurring. Used in conjunction with an ESD cord, the ESD wrist strap disperses static electricity generated by the human body, thus protecting both the wearer and any static-sensitive devices they come into contact with.

For effective use, an ESD wrist strap should be comfortably snug against the skin and connected to an Earth bonding point. In most EPAs, bonding points are built into workstations to facilitate grounding with wrist straps but a removable coil cord and crocodile clip can also be used for mobile applications.

Sometimes known as an anti-static wrist strap or wristband, these simple ESD safety accessories are essential for anyone working in an ESD Protected Area. Giving you the freedom and flexibility to work without the risk of ESD, both premium and disposable ESD wrist straps are easy and efficient ways to increase workplace safety and prevent electrostatic damage. To find the right ESD safety solutions for your workplace, explore our selection of ESD wrist straps and cords now.

ESD Heel Strap

An ESD heel strap works in a similar way to a wrist strap: it provides a grounding path to disperse static electricity. However, ESD heel straps need to be used in locations with specific ESD flooring to ensure a ground path can be maintained. Using premium or disposable ESD heel straps on non-ESD flooring won’t provide adequate protection, so it’s important to determine whether ESD heel straps are appropriate for your workplace based on the flooring in ESD protected areas.

Furthermore, ESD heel straps should be worn on both feet, so that there is a constant grounding path at all times. If a worker removes one foot from the floor while wearing just one heel strap, for example, the grounding path is broken, and they are no longer protected from electrostatic discharge events.

When worn on both feet and used in conjunction with ESD flooring or mats, however, heel straps can provide a highly effective method of ESD protection. Ideally suited for workers who spend long periods standing or moving around, ESD heel straps can be a critical method of protecting employees and safeguarding resources.

Heel and Wrist Strap Testers

Using ESD safety equipment is essential but ensuring that your ESD safety equipment is fully functional is critical too! Heel and wrist strap testers provide an efficient way for workers to confirm the efficacy of their safety equipment prior to or during tasks. This avoids degraded safety equipment from being used and increases workplace safety.

With most ESD testing equipment, the user wears the safety device and connects to the tester via a footplate or bonding point. After initiating the test, a green light will confirm that the device’s wiring is functional and that a grounding path is available. Conversely, if the safety device isn’t functioning properly, a red light and/or warning alarm will alert the wearer.

With portable ESD wrist strap testers and wall-mounted test stations available, certified calibration and customisation options, you can ensure that workers always have access to the testing equipment they need.

Shoes, facemask and wrist strap

ESD Matting

When items are placed on top of an ESD mat, the mat successfully drains static discharge to Earth and helps to prevent ESD events. By reducing the flow of static charge, the static electricity is successfully neutralised and transferred to the grounded mat. This moves the static electricity away from static-sensitive components and prevents them from being damaged by ESD while they’re being worked on.

However, selecting the right ESD matting is key to ensuring its efficacy. If a mat’s resistance level is too low, for example, a spark may occur and cause ESD damage. Alternatively, if a mat is too resistant, static can transfer too slowly, and items placed on the mat won’t completely lose their charge.

ESD mats are typically made from either vinyl or rubber and are available in a single layer, two layers, or three layers. A three layer vinyl mat generally offers a higher resistance than a two layer vinyl mat due to the addition of a conductive metal layer. However, a two layer rubber mat usually offers comparable performance to a three layer vinyl mat and has a greater tolerance to chemicals and heat.

ESD Gloves

ESD gloves are another useful method of improving workplace safety and protecting static-sensitive equipment. If workers are assembling or handling electronic devices, wearing ESD gloves prevents static discharges from occurring, thus protecting the worker and the item they are working on.

Wearing ESD gloves increases an electrical path’s contact resistance, which controls the speed of the discharge and helps to prevent electrostatic events. By making sure that ESD gloves are worn in static-sensitive areas and EPAs, you can successfully enhance your ESD safety protocols and prevent unnecessary damage or harm from occurring. Furthermore, ESD gloves can also help to prevent particles, dust, or grease from coming into contact and damaging electrical items.

Improving Workplace ESD Safety

When workers come into contact with static-sensitive items or components, it’s vital that safety protocols are followed. Providing your employees with access to effective ESD safety devices helps to maintain the integrity of ESD protected areas and prevents items from being irreversibly damaged.

From wrist straps and heel straps to gloves and matting, selecting the right ESD safety equipment protects your workers, your equipment, and your brand. To learn more, browse our selection of static control equipment now or contact our team on +44 (0)1793 511000 or email us at sales@bondline.co.uk


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