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Question A power supply manufacturer has RF generators that create a potential of 5000 volts with high current. Their operators are instructed to disconnect wrist straps from the monitors when powering up these units. The floor is dissipative, and they asked us about using Foot Grounders. They were concerned about how the Foot Grounder resistors might react should someone inadvertently contact a 'hard ground', it being remotely possible for a worker to be sitting in a chair and have their feet on the grounded part of a workbench and touch the high voltage. - Anonymous, USA
Answer The safety of the worker is paramount. If there is any possible exposure to 5000 volts, we recommend designing an ESD program that does not include grounding the operator: Workers should wear Smocks made of fabric with 12% carbon suffused fibers; [this will protect the ESD sensitive product from static charges generated by worker clothing]. Ionizers should be heavily used to neutralize static charges [instead of removing them via grounding] Statguard® Dissipative Floor Finish does not tribocharge, so would not generate static charges. Remove all unnecessary static generators; if cannot be removed use static dissipative workstation items such as tape, vinyl binders, document holders, trash can liners, etc.
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