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Questions And Answers

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Question Do CD players and or FM radios, personal mini fans allowed on a static dissipative workbench? Please provide information on why so I can show the information to my supervisor. 
Answer

Best practice is to remove all personal items from the ESD protected workstation. “All nonessential insulators such as coffee cups, food wrappers and personal items shall be removed from the workstation or any operation where unprotected ESDS items are handled.” [ANSI/ESDS20.20-2007 section 8.3]

A concern is that portions of the CD players, radios, or personal fans are insulative generating electrostatic charges and by definition cannot be grounded. Plastic portion likely are high charging.

If one wanted to argue that the items were essential, say for productivity reasons, the best argument would be to always keep the items 12” away from ESD sensitive items. Also part of section 8.3 is:
“In order to mitigate field-induced CDM [Charged Device Model] damage, the ESD program shall include a plan for the handling of process-required insulators. If the field exceeds 2,000 volts/inch, steps shall be taken to either:
A) Separate the insulator from the ESD-sensitive device by a distance of 30 cm (12 inches);
or
B) Use ionization or other charge mitigating techniques to neutralize the charge.”

Another alternative is to make the high charging plastic portions low charging by periodically coating with a product like Reztore Topical Antistat.

“It should be understood that any object, item, material or person could be a source of static electricity in the work environment. Removal of unnecessary nonconductors, replacing nonconductive materials with dissipative or conductive materials and grounding all conductors are the principle methods of controlling static electricity in the workplace, regardless of the activity.” [ESD Handbook ESD TR20.20 section 2.4 Sources of Static Electricity]

 
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