Proactive Accident Prevention: Electrical Equipment & High Voltage Areas

The rise of the technological innovations have increased the demand of electronic equipment in the workplace.  Even outside of the tech industry, computers have molded out employees to become more technologically savvy.  Within any regular businesses, Information Technology technicians are present to fill the need of companies to create a more efficient work environment.  Electronic components are not a part of the employment and business landscape that it is crucial that companies and facility owners should address the growing need for assessing the risks involved with electronic products.  The growth in the electronic industry signifies that these work conditions are now the norm.  With these advancements, the risks involved in performing these tasks must be resolved in order to prevent the occurrence of accidents.

What is Electrostatic Discharge?

Electrostatic discharge is the result of contact of two objects, also known as an electrical short or dielectric breakdown.  Buildup of static electricity through turbocharging or electrostatic induction causes ESD.   ESD on small level, like static electricity “zapping” after walking through carpet on a humid day, is harmless, but in large amounts it can damage electronic components like circuit boards and computers.  The more electronics and personnel the higher the level of electrostatic charge in the atmosphere.  Because of the growing reliance on technology, it is necessary to invest in anti-static mats to limit the effect and damage of the ESD on expensive and vital components.

The Risks of ESD

Premises owners must examine thoroughly the hazards of electrostatic discharge and how it could be prevented.  In workplaces where electrical components comprise most of the operation, preventative measures must be undertaken to avoid accidents and equipment losses.  Because most electrical components are expensive, protecting them from static discharge is the utmost priority, outside of the welfare of the employees.

Electronics are not the only collateral damage in a short.  In rooms with many large electronics, computers, and circuit boards, employees can also be at risk.  Due to the high volume of electrons in the air, the shock experienced in a small room is not the same magnitude as the static shock when rubbing your socks on the carpet.  It is larger and more harmful.  How do we know? Lightning is the biggest manifestation of ESD known to us.  It is highly likely that electrical components in the workplace can have the same effect in a more contained area.

In order to reduce the risk and prevent accidents, property owners should consider installing anti-static mats in areas with a large number of computers, circuit boards, hard drives, and other other electrical components.

What Does an Anti-Static Mat Do?

Anti-static mats reduces the build-up of static electricity in a given area.  Often times called dissipative matting, its surface conducts electricity by absorbing moisture from the air.  By being a conductor, the charged ions are released into the air instead of gathering and shocking people or electronics, which has the opposite charge.  Anti-static mats help areas where people work on electronics so that the equipment may not be damage nor is the person shocked by electricity.

Dissipative matting reduces the shock from high voltage machinery.  Electric shock and electrical damage can be prevented by proactively investing in anti-static commercial floor mats in areas that have both people and sensitive equipment.  In order to minimize the risk of Electrostatic Discharge, businesses must include in their risk assessment a section in which they provide anti-static floor mats to address potential accidents in the workplace.  Management of electrical discharge is necessary to protect assets both human and mechanical.