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Question Should ESD smocks and Foot straps be worn outside during an electrical/lightning storms. Is this a safe practice? I THINK NOT. Please advise ASAP, we have a very dangerous issue on hand, and I need all the data sent to me via-e-mail if at all possible. NOTE: The smocks and straps are supposed to have a 10meg or a 1,000,000 ohm resistor built into them. I really do not think that makes much of a difference. Your input on this issue would be very valuable to me, and Intel, and may help save a lot of lives. - Anonymous, Portland, OR
Answer The safety of the operator always comes first. Grounding personnel is only for controlled areas such as ESD Safe areas. When personnel leave these areas and may encounter high voltage/current such as at High-Pot stations, exposed electrical wiring, working around high voltage equipment such as Ion Implanters, Electron Beam Lithography, outside in electrical storms, ect. In these instances, the company’s Safety Officer should be consulted and procedures developed base on the safety of the operator being priority one. We would not recommend grounding personnel when working with voltages over 250 VAC or 500 VDC nor when outside in a lightning storm, as described in the Cenelec Electronic Components Committee standard section 4.1.1, CECC 00015/I. Both our foot grounders and wrist straps employ a 1/4 Watt carbon composite resistor rated 250 Volts Alternating Current (VAC) and UL tested and listed for voltages under 250 VAC.
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