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How Do Anti-Static Products Work in the Workplace?

Anti-static products or ESD-safe products are a great way to keep the workplace safe. Although they are mostly used in industries such as electronics manufacturing, they can also be used in cleanroom (microelectronic) and engineering environments. Some ESD-safe products such as anti-static spray are great to use for office environments to prevent static shock between, for instance, a chair and a person. In a nutshell, ESD-safe products are used to prevent the damage of static sensitive devices from electrostatic discharge also known as ESD. Although anti-static products can be expensive, they are a much better investment to make in the long-run than having to replace damaged devices – which can be costly – due to static charge.

To know more about how you can keep the workplace, your static sensitive devices and your employees safe, read up on what anti-static or ESD-safe products and practices you can bring into the workplace.

Are you looking for high-quality ESD-proof products? Visit Bondline today for more information on how you can safely protect your workplace and products from ESD today.

What is ESD?

You may have heard or read the acronym ESD and are wondering what it stands for. We’re here to help you know what it means and how it is happening. ESD or electrostatic discharge is the sudden flow of electricity between two objects due to contact with an electrical short circuit. Think of balloons rubbing on hair or your carpet zapping you because of constant movement. It can also be caused by electrostatic induction where a charged item or machine is placed near a conductor in isolation.

ESD happens often in offices and factories when there is a lot of movement and machines so equipment must be made static-proof. It can be harmful as it can cause explosions in gas, fuel vapour and coal dust. This can cause your electronics with components, integrated circuits and microchips to fail. In a workplace that has a ton of machines in use, seeing sparks isn’t what you want to see.

With these negatives, permanent damage to the workplace can be avoided by taking measures to remove static-prone items and behaviours from the environment. We can look at static-proofing existing equipment, providing anti-static devices and controlling the humidity in the workplace. You can learn more about ESD here.

Why is ESD a threat to so many industries?

Think of a mobile phone manufacturing company. Inside of a mobile device there are many electrical components that make the device work. These electrical components are highly sensitive to static and if a component were to come into contact with a static charge, the charge could transfer onto the component and cause significant damage. The manufacturers must ensure that static can not come into contact with the electrical components that they are assembling for the mobile phone. To do this, they must take protective measures by implementing a static controlled working area and anti-static equipment. Anti-static products can help prevent static charges from generating and dissipating into the environment or onto objects such as electrical components. They do this by grounding the charge to Earth. If  a static charge were to reach and transfer onto a highly sensitive component or device, then this could cause catastrophic damage to that item (a PCB for example). This in turn could cause a latent defect. A latent defect is difficult to identify since the device may be partially degraded yet still continue to perform its intended function. However, the operating life of the device may be reduced dramatically. You may only notice that there is a problem when the the device suddenly stops working. Ultimately, a latent defect could result to a premature system failure which could prove extremely hazardous and very costly. If you work with static-sensitive devices on a regular basis, you must use anti-static products in a static controlled environment!

How to get rid of dangerous static situations in the workplace?

Here are some helpful ways to avoid static in the workplace:

  • Invest in ESD-safe flooring. This works for carpets, rugs and other types of flooring you may find in a workplace. In fact, it would be better to uninstall carpets and rugs to avoid it completely.
  • Keep electronic equipment away from blowing air.
  • Avoid putting electronic equipment near insulators such as plastic and synthetic materials.
  • Install a grounding system for low voltage dissipation.
  • Invest in anti static wrist straps and heel straps for employees working as tool operators.
  • Make sure to have anti static tools.
  • Increase space between employees to avoid direct contact.

But these are only the basics of keeping your office static and ESD-safe. Keep reading to learn more ways to avoid the dreaded sparks.

Anti-static products – what are they?

Anti-static products can provide safety and comfort at the workplace. This results in improved overall productivity, a generally safer environment and better running equipment, especially for electronics. ESD-proof products are known to have effective results whenever and wherever they are used.

What are some products you could get for your workplace to avoid or reduce static electricity? Let’s find out:

Anti-Static Spray

Anti-static spray can help eliminate the static electricity on clothing. Once sprayed, it prevents clinging of fabrics or garments to the body which causes static electricity. This works on the clothing of any type of fabric, other types of garments, carpets, and rugs.

Anti-Static Flooring

Establishments and businesses can make use of ESD-proof flooring and ESD-proof floor matting which are essential grounding solutions to avoid electrostatic discharge. Anti-static flooring is widely used for industrial static control since the equipment is highly prone to damages if exposed to static electricity. ESD safe floors prevent further issues.

ESD-Proof Footwear and Heel Straps

Anti-static footwear and heel straps are designed to maximise employee safety and performance by using rubber soles or any other materials that do not conduct electricity.

Anti-Static Workwear

Anti-static garments and gloves are one of the internal parts of any ESD protected area in a workplace or any businesses. As a company, anti-static workwear should be provided for every single employee.

Are you looking for anti-static office items? Visit Bondline for more information about our selection of items.

Getting rid of static or ESD from clothes

Static electricity can occur amongst employees that frequently cross paths and brush shoulders from time to time. Most static happens when employees are clustered together, without any room to walk without directly crossing paths. If a uniform is something required at work, you may want to consider getting ESD-proof clothing to lessen the amount of static electricity in the air.

Here are other ways you can encourage your employees to avoid static:

  • Buy and use a static reducing spray for fabrics. This can help neutralise electrical charges by increasing humidity substances.
  • Wear ESD shoes. Purchase ESD shoes for your employees or provide these types of shoes for them. ESD shoes will stop static electricity from generating a static charge that could potentially dissipate onto static sensitive electronic devices.
  • Use ESD hand lotion to moisturise your skin. This will help you to increase the contact with your skin giving you a better path to Earth via your wrist strap.

The best way to remove static electricity from the workplace is to prevent it from happening in the first place. To do this, you should invest in ESD-safe equipment and flooring.

Get ESD-equipped products for your office with Bondline

Load up the workplace with ESD-equipped products through Bondline, the leading manufacturer and supplier of static control products. Because safety is our top priority, Bondline has a wide selection of static-proof products such as flexible and rigid packaging, table matting, wrist straps, heel grounders and shoes, protective clothing and gloves, test and measurement equipment along with many storage and handling solutions that create a suitable work environment.

Visit our website today for more information about how you can keep your office ESD-free.

author avatar
Chloé Warlow
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