Circuit & System Protection


Clearing the Static: ESD wrist straps

27 July 2022 Circuit & System Protection

The human body is the primary source of electrostatic charge generation. In order to control and reduce static charge build-up and prevent electrostatic discharges (ESD) at an electronic equipment facility, we use grounding systems to ensure that all components are at the same electrical potential.


Greg Barron, Actum Group director.

ESD wrist straps help to disperse static electricity generated from a person safely to ground. They are the most reliable method of grounding a person within the ESD Protected Area. According to European standards, every employee or operator within the ESD Protected Area needs to wear a wrist strap while seated. An ESD wrist strap set consists of a conductive wrist band and grounding cord that will effectively drain static charge away from the body so that it cannot discharge onto the object being worked on.

Types of Wrist Straps

Operators can opt for single-wire, dual-wire or disposable wrist straps, based on the application and requirement. Quality straps are manufactured from anti-allergenic materials, and designed with safety in mind. Specific types include:

• Adjustable elastic band: made from wide-knitted anti-stretch material.

• Thermoplastic wrist straps: lightweight, adjustable zipper-style design.

• Metal wrist straps: adjustable or fixed; very reliable and durable.

• Coil cords: available in black PVC and blue/yellow polyurethane.

To ensure your wrist strap is functioning optimally, daily testing should be conducted, and the results logged. As a standard, wrist straps need to maintain less than 100 V on the human body.

Actum Group is a specialised importer and distributor of industrial and electronic products in South and Southern Africa.


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