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ESD Workstation Do's and Don'ts

Do

  • Test the wrist strap/operator combination for continuity daily or install constant monitors.

  • Test the mats quarterly.

  • Clean the mats with a cleaner designed for static mats.

  • Remove all nonessential plastic items from the workstation area. Insulative plastic items can store large amounts of static charge that is not removed when placed on a mat or grounded. Examples include: Styrofoam cups, plastic lunch bags and containers, combs and brushes.

  • Require personnel that wear heel grounders to also wear a wrist strap when they sit at a workbench. Most people lift their feet or heels off the floor at some point while seated.

  • Use GFCI outlets when working with energized items.

  • Avoid parallel ground paths. The only connection to ground for an operator at an ESD workstation should be the wrist strap, heel grounders or work surface. Other uncontrolled ground paths could create a shock hazard.

Don't

  • Do not ground the mat by one snap and connect the wrist strap to the other snap. This adds the resistance of the mat to the ground path.

  • Do not "daisy chain" mats together. Each mat must be connected to the ground point. Not connected to the ground point through another mat.

  • Do not use commercial cleaners on mats. The cleaners may leave a residue that prevents the mat from draining away charge.