Even if your company has a solid ESD program in place, an electrostatic discharge event can happen by a seemingly harmless action. More often, the ESD damage can be serious and potentially damage the components.
While there are many actions that need to be put in place to have a successful ESD program, one of the most important is that your employees are wearing wrist straps that function properly. When the wrist straps are worn properly and are connected to ground, it can help prevent any hazardous discharge between the ground and equipment.
In fact, many companies consider the wrist straps as one of the most reliable and important parts of an ESD program. Which is why wrist straps should be tested frequently if not attached to a constant monitor.
Wrist straps have two major components:
The wrist strap that goes around the employee’s wrist
A ground cord that connects the wrist strap to the common ground point
How Can You Be Sure That the Wrist Straps Are Working Properly?
As with any device, wrist straps have many mechanisms that could fail instantaneously and are therefore tested on a regular basis. Wrist straps can be tested at a specific test station each day or all day by a continuous monitor.
Continuous Monitoring & How it Works
There are different sizes and styles of continuous monitors. Continuous monitors are usually kept on the workstation but can also be placed in different areas of the workstation. Some will attach to the matting while others are placed on the workstation bench, and some can even fit under the employees’ workbench and therefore take up less space.
When using a continuous monitor, the operators will connect their wrist strap to the monitor which allows for real-time monitoring and testing. If the wrist strap were to fail, the continuous monitor’s alarm will go off. And then any failure can instantly be evaluated.
The Benefits of Continuous Monitoring:
While periodic testing is commonly used in any ESD program, continuous monitoring can be advantageous because it alerts the operator and manager at the exact moment when a wrist strap or workstation connection fails.
With a continuous monitor, it can give the owner the assurance that the wrist straps are not only being worn and working properly, but also the operator’s workstation.
Alarm goes off when wrist straps fail
Continuous monitors provide feedback right away on the status of the wrist straps and their functionality. The moment that the wrist strap or workstation fails, the monitor will sound off an alarm – usually visual and audible that it needs to be addressed immediately. Then the operator would change to a properly working wrist strap.
Save times by eliminating daily testing & logging results
When using a continuous monitor, it eliminates the need for daily testing as the monitor does that for you. The continuous monitors also log the daily results, so your employees don’t have to take the time to do so. And the operators don’t have to start each day by going to a wrist strap station and can simply put on the strap and go straight to work.
There are many benefits to continuous monitoring and while the initial expense might be higher, it will invariably save your company time, money, and potentially component damage.
Make sure to take a look at our inventory of ESD wrist strap testers, continuous monitors, combo testers and more!