Circuit & System Protection

Clearing the Static: ESD clothing and footwear

29 February 2024 Circuit & System Protection

Greg Barron, Actum Group director

In the dynamic environment of an Electro Protected Area (EPA), the significance of ESD clothing is fundamental. This specialised attire plays a pivotal role in preventing people from charging the products that they are working with. It is therefore important to utilise ESD footwear and clothing, along with other grounding devices, including grounding heel straps, wrist straps, cords, and ESD surface mats. This comprehensive approach establishes a continuous path to ground, effectively dissipating any static buildup within the EPA.

The spectrum of ESD clothing encompasses a range of specialised garments tailored to the unique demands of an electrostatic-sensitive environment. This includes ESD lab coats, jackets, polo shirts, gloves, and various other forms of personal protective equipment. ESD clothing features the universal yellow ESD warning signs, to indicate that the personnel are authorised to work in the EPA.

ESD footwear, or foot grounders must be worn on both feet. They ensure constant contact with the floor, thereby mitigating the risk of static discharge. Industries such as electronics manufacturing, service and repair plants, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals, where electronic components and devices are vulnerable, can benefit from the utilisation of anti-static shoes. Moreover, for rugged working environments where ESD damage prevention is paramount, conductive ESD boots and shoes prove to be indispensable.

Before procuring ESD clothing and footwear, it is incumbent upon the buyer to ascertain that the supplier can furnish the necessary certifications. Additionally, the products should undergo testing to ensure conformity with the requisite standards. This due diligence is instrumental in guaranteeing the efficacy of the ESD protective measures in place, thus fostering a secure working environment within the Electro Protected Area.


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