We've all been shocked at some point, and frequently the cause is touching a doorknob after walking across a carpeted floor. Transfer of static charge causes shocks (or a balancing of our charge to that of the object). Electrostatic Discharge, or ESD, is the term used to describe this transfer. ESD can harm sensitive equipment to varied degrees in addition to giving us a little jolt (from degrading or partial failure to total or catastrophic failure).
Anti-static mats are one type of ESD device that can be used to disperse electrical charges or even stop them from accumulating in the first place.
Taking Care of Your Equipment
Did you know that mats can be used to shield delicate equipment? They come in two kinds dependent on how resistant they are. Although they might not offer serious shock protection if you come into contact with a live electrical circuit, those with a reading of 1x10(3)-1x10(6) ohms are low resistance and allow ESD to flow across their surface. In contrast, those with a reading of 1x10(6)-1x10(10) ohms are higher resistance.
When selecting anti-static mats, there are a few factors to keep in mind. To make sure the equipment you have chosen is up to the task, you must first ascertain how sensitive it is. Second, you should think about the comfort offered if your employees must stand on them for extended periods of time.
All matting also needs to be grounded for it to work. If it isn't grounded, the electrical charge has nowhere to go and shocks will happen. To assist with this, a number of grounding accessories can be bought, including a grounding cord that connects the mat to the building.
Despite this, people frequently walk into the office wearing cozy shoes with insulating soles (like tennis shoes), which in fact stop static from being pulled into the mat. You could make employees wear conductive shoes, which are pricy, to address this, or you could spend money on heel grounders (which are a V-shaped piece of rubber that fits over the heel). Computer users might also require a wrist strap that attaches to the mat.
Protecting Your Workers
More than 700 individuals die each year as a direct result of electrical shock accidents, according to statistics provided by various OH&S agencies around the world. One person is electrocuted every 36 hours. The mats that are used to safeguard workers belong to a completely different category from those that were previously covered since they are made to stop the passage of ESD and shield (or insulate) users from the dangers of electrical shock.
It should be highlighted that there are additional safety-related considerations that need to be considered. First off, some anti-static mats perform poorly in areas where chairs or carts are used because they can roll or bunch up under wheels and the backing material can deteriorate. Second, mats on carpet can present tripping dangers. Thirdly, incorrect cleaning can reduce its effectiveness; at your own risk, heed the manufacturer's recommendations.