ESD Equipment, ESD Safety

How to stay protected from electrostatic danger with ESD wrist straps

If you or your workforce spend a significant amount of time working on, or near, sensitive electronic equipment, you may be familiar with the dangers of static electricity. Electrostatic damage is a constant concern for individuals who work in production and computer environments. Manufacturing, warehousing, and many other industries need to take steps to alleviate the risk of ESD events occurring. An effective way to ensure ESD safety is to employ the use of ESD and antistatic equipment and supplies. ESD wrist straps are one of the best pieces of equipment your workforce can be outfitted with.

Basics of ESD Wrist Straps

ESD wrist straps come in a variety of materials, but the general concept for each is the same; to provide a path for electrostatic ground. The strap is fastened around your wrist using an adjustable band. Embedded in the strap is a metal snap that attaches to a coiled cord ending with either an alligator clip or snap that can connect to an earth bonding plug. Typically, the alligator clip is attached to the computer or sensitive electronic device being worked on.

Once an ESD wrist strap has been secured to the wrist and connected to the earth bonding point or sensitive piece of equipment, you are safe to work without fear of ESD occurring. This allows you and your workforce to go about your daily tasks freely and drastically reduces the chances of static electricity building up. Also called a grounding bracelet, ESD wrist straps allow workers to be mobile and protected at the same time.

Types of ESD Wrist Straps

There are four common types of ESD wrist straps:

Made from the highest quality static dissipative material, fabric ESD wrist straps prevent dangerous electrostatic buildup.

Consisting of a series of links that expand to fit wrist sizes, the metal adjustable ESD wrist straps have insulated metal caps on each link.

Some hypoallergenic wrist straps are made with nylon material and the best ones use hypoallergenic stainless steel.

Designed for temporary and short-term use, disposable ESD wrist bands are ideal for use by field engineers and plant visitors. Each disposable band comes individually wrapped with instructions for effective use.

Work environments that deal with the pressures of ESD risk on a daily basis should be equipped with either fabric adjustable, metal adjustable, or hypoallergenic ESD wrist straps. Disposable wrist straps are best for short-term projects and field work that necessitate the need to handle sensitive electronic equipment.

The goal of using ESD wrist straps is to safely provide a way for static electricity to dissipate without causing electrostatic damage. The less ESD events that occur the better. An ESD protected work environment will enhance safety which helps to increase efficiency and production. While ESD wrist straps are highly effective pieces of equipment, it’s always best to support safety initiatives with the addition of ESD mats and other essential supplies. Short-term investments in high-quality ESD gear will pay off in the long-term.