Circuit & System Protection


Clearing the Static: Complete ESD solutions for EPAs

28 February 2022 Circuit & System Protection

An electrostatic protected area (EPA) is a designated area where static is controlled under strict regulations. At Actum Group, we advise that EPAs should be viewed and completed as a whole project and not set up with individual components at various times. It is important to acknowledge that if one element within the EPA is not working effectively, all equipment is compromised.


Greg Barron, Actum Group director

The initial step in establishing an effective static control programme is an ESD audit. Before you invest money in new ESD equipment, an ESD assessment will help you identify vulnerable areas in your workplace and potentially hazardous static zones that require improvement.

At Actum Group we usually start our audits by evaluating disorder on work surfaces. These are the biggest culprits of static build-up. Checklist items required include personal grounding equipment such as wrist straps, grounding cords, ESD flooring or dissipative mats, ESD shoes and clothing apparel, all working together to prevent static build-up. We also take time to review existing testing equipment and procedures to assess whether they meet ESD standards.

A vital component in all EPAs is static control cleaning with products that should be non-toxic, non-flammable and non-staining. Most importantly, effective training programmes for all employees who work within the EPA need to be ongoing and comprehensive. Training must include ESD prevention procedures and should also explain the physics and benefits of the programme.


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