In many industries, electrostatic discharge (ESD) has the potential to contaminate equipment, products, and environments. One of the most effective ways to prevent ESD is to limit how it’s created.
In cleanroom environments, that starts with grounding your employees. Employers implement ESD shoe covers to keep operators grounded and thwart ESD, sometimes called conductive strip shoe covers.
How does electrostatic discharge affect you?
Electrostatic-sensitive devices can include computer cards, laser diodes, high-precision resistors, MOSFET transistors used to make integrated circuits (IC)s, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). When exposed to ESD, these devices may be rendered useless, thus draining your company’s resources. As such, controlling ESD is imperative not only for ensuring safe and productive workflows but also for extending the lifespan of your devices and staying within budget.
Even when floors are appropriately grounded, wearing ESD shoe covers is still a good idea. You can never have too many grounding methods. Some employees may feel that wearing ESD covers can be a nuisance, but it’s a necessary compliance step. It should be considered critical to work in a clean room environment.
While many shoe covers are available, only certain materials are considered static-resistant. For instance, polyurethane shoe covers may work well for general-purpose applications, including medical and food processing environments. Still, a conductive strip must be included on conductive shoe covers to provide ESD grounding.
How do you choose esd shoe covers?
When choosing ESD shoe covers to meet your company’s needs, there are a few considerations to be mindful of:
- Material: You’ll want to ensure you’re selecting anti-static materials. A non-woven carbon conductive strip can facilitate grounding and prevent ESD. Choosing latex-free options is also advantageous, as the material is a common allergen.
- Fit: A fit of 16” L by 8” W works well to accommodate wearers of all shoe sizes. The sturdy straps ensure a snug fit against the shoe to prevent slipping. Not only does this support comfort, but it also effectively thwarts ESD.
- Slip Resistance: Both regular sole and skid-resistant options are available for ESD shoe covers. The skid-free soles are beneficial in potentially slippery conditions. In cleanroom environments, where surfaces may be trickier due to their pure nature, conductive disposable shoe covers may be helpful to keep your employees safe.
Conductive shoe covers are made from lightweight material to prevent discomfort. In fact, they’re so comfortable that wearers may wind up forgetting they even have them on!
In an environment where impurities simply can’t enter the equation, ESD shoe covers are an effective line of defense for keeping your devices safe. They’ll also limit contamination to help keep your cleanrooms and products immaculate.
Both regular sole and skid-resistant conductive shoe covers come in large quantities to last an extended period. To browse ESD shoe cover options, visit Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies online.