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Question In our testing operation, we are currently using wrist straps for personnel grounding. However, the plan is to convert to conductive shoes on conductive flooring to eliminate the use of wrist straps. Is this a valid strategy? Do we still need to use conductive socks or else use a heel strap or toe strap to achieve grounding?-Anonymous, Philippines
Answer It doesn't necessarily matter on the method of grounding, as long as the personnel are grounded, they are supporting one aspect of an ESD control program. Conductive shoes on a conductive floor should work without the need of conductive stockings or Foot grounders. The conductive shoes work like Foot grounders, by coupling with the sweat layer between the foot and conductive strip/inner soul through the stocking. You will want to test these shoes according to ANSI/ESD S20.20 and following either ESD STM 97.1 or ESD STM 97.2. All of these standards are available from the ESD Association: http://esda.org/ One concern with eliminating wrist straps is that if the personnel are seated at ESD Safe workstations, there is the possibility of their feet being lifted off the floor and hence, their ground connection becomes broken. If you could ensure that they'll be standing on the floor at all times, then this is not a concern.
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