ESD Safety

ESD Training in the medical industry: Everything you need to know

medical technology - Antistat

ESD training is a vital aspect of maintaining safety in the healthcare industry. Health and safety requirements in the medical industry are some of the most comprehensive in the country. Those employed by healthcare organizations are expected to understand the basics of maintaining a medically safe environment for themselves and their patients. In addition, doctors, surgeons, and medical staff undergo extensive training to minimize the potential of safety threats while providing patient care.

Medical safety training is essential to the operations of hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and similar organizations. However, many healthcare organizations fail to provide one critical type of safety education for their employeeselectrostatic discharge (ESD) training.

What is ESD Training?

Static electricity and electrostatic discharge are some of the most common and dangerous hazards that arise in the workplace. ESD training is a specially-designed program that helps individuals learn how to cope with the dangers of static electricity in the workplace while minimizing the risk of ESD events. Training initiatives typically include lessons on:

  •      What is static electricity
  •      What causes static electricity
  •      Why discharges can be dangerous
  •      How to avoid discharges and static buildup
  •      ESD safety procedures

If you’re looking for a great resource on ESD you should check out the ESD Association. They’re one of the most comprehensive providers of ESD training, including options for online training, seminars, and on-site training.

How ESD Training Benefits Your Medical Organization

Safety is important in every industry, but especially in medical environments. Physicians, nurses, and medical workers must receive extensive training on protecting themselves from biological threats. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for electrostatic hazards encountered in the medical work environment.

Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare environments all have multiple sources with the potential to generate static electricity.

Common items that increase the risk of ESD:

  •      Office carpeting
  •      Desktop and laptop computers
  •      Employee clothing
  •      Metal tools
  •      Surgical lights
  •      MRI machines
  •      Mobile technology carts
  •      Electronic diagnostic equipment

Static electricity and ESD pose a significant threat to the healthcare environment. ESD generated by employee footwear has been known to cause significant interference with respirators and other essential life-sustaining machines. A single spark from a discharge can ignite if it comes into contact with flammable vapors in an operating theater. Furthermore, the presence of static electricity on surgical instruments has the potential to cause a patient on the operating table to undergo serious cardiac fibrillation.

ESD training serves to address a number of different threats to the efficiency, efficacy, and overall stability of organizations in the healthcare industry. By reducing the possibility of static discharges, hospitals and clinics can expect to see lower costs in terms of equipment maintenance, repair, and replacement. More importantly, ESD training doesn’t just reduce the possibility of harm to both health workers and patients, it also saves lives.

Who Needs ESD Training?

Patient-facing employees at healthcare organizations should receive rudimentary ESD training to keep the care environment as safe as possible. Beyond physicians and nurses, other employees who can benefit from ESD training include:

  •      IT personnel
  •      Surgical technologists
  •      Equipment repair technicians
  •      Medical facility employees
  •      Key administrators and office staff

ESD training is a safety investment that will ensure employees can work without unnecessarily placing patients, equipment, and themselves in harm’s way.

As with other forms of safety training, periodic sessions will be useful to remind employees of the importance of following ESD safety protocols. Continued training is especially pertinent for healthcare workers because medical equipment relies heavily on electronics.