Fundamental ESD Control Principles – Personnel Grounding

Wrist strap connected to continuous monitor.

A fundamental principle of ESD control is to ground conductors including people at ESD protected workstations. Wrist straps are the first line of defense against ESD, the most common personnel grounding device used, and are required to be used if the operator is sitting. The wristband should be worn snug to the skin with its coil cord connected to a common point ground which is connected to ground, preferably equipment ground.


Test wrist straps daily if continuous monitors are not used.



If continuous monitors are not used, a wrist strap should be tested while being worn at least daily. Part of the path-to-ground is the perspiration layer on the person; an operator with dry skin may inhibit the removal of static charges and may cause a test failure. Specially formulated ESD lotion can solve this problem. Failures may also be caused by dirty or loose wristbands which should be cleaned or tightened. When a wrist strap fails a test, the supervisor should be contacted, and the failure effectively addressed or the wrist strap replaced.

ESD Footwear are required with an ESD floor for standing and mobile workers.




A Footwear / Flooring system is an alternative for personnel grounding for standing or mobile workers. Foot grounders or other types of ESD footwear are worn while standing or walking on an ESD floor. Both ESD footwear and ESD flooring are required. Wearing ESD footwear on a regular, insulative floor is a waste of time and money.




Test each foot grounder separately if not using a split footplate.



ESD footwear is to be worn on both feet and should be tested independently at least daily while being worn. Unless the tester has a split footplate, each foot should be tested independently, typically with the other foot raised in the air.

If an operator leaves the ESD Protected Area and walks outside wearing ESD footwear, care should be taken not to get the ESD footwear soiled. Dirt is typically insulative, and the best practice is to re-test the ESD footwear while being worn each time when re-entering the ESD Protected Area.




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