Getting Rid of Charges Part 2: Personal Grounding Equipment

by Andy on February 6, 2012

Last week we went over what grounding does and why you need it, so this week we will start to look into methods of grounding. We noted before that static can come from two objects rubbing together. One of the biggest factors in creating an ESD-safe workplace is stopping static from the object that often moves the most: the human body. By walking, sitting down, moving your arms, or any number of other activities your body can generate static, so it is important to use personal grounding equipment to discharge this energy safely.

Heel Ground Shoe Grounds

If you stand or walk around while working with static sensitive equipment then shoe grounds are essential. These devices wrap around your shoes and create a path to ground from your body through the ground strap to the ground. However, in order for these to work properly you must have conductive or dissipative flooring and you must wear a shoe ground on each shoe. When you are walking one foot is off the ground a lot, so you need a continuous path through each shoe. Shoe grounds come in many styles, including heel grounds, toe grounds, and full sole grounds.

Wrist Strap Wrist Straps

When working at a desk shoe grounds are not as effective since your feet are not always touching a grounded surface and are often hanging from your chair or on a footrest. In this instance wrist straps are used to ground the operator, as they provide a constant ground path. Wrist straps can be plugged into an ESD-safe mat, as well as other ground points. Workstation monitors are one such ground, which have the added benefit of testing your equipment and notifying you if any part of your system fails. You can find workstation monitors that just test wrist straps or both wrist straps and ESD-safe mats at the same time.

That is all for this week, make sure to check in next Monday for more information on grounding your workstation!

Getting Rid of Charges Part 1

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