NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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5 May 2000

The Control of Static Electricity at Workplaces

static electricity

The electronics and chemical industries want to reduce the continual increase in the danger arising from discharges of static electricity. Personal protective equipment will play a large part in this. Good protective footwear and clothing and earthing bracelets can cut the risk of damage to electronic components and the risks to persons, for example, in the chemical industry, which has many explosive hazards.

In a project entitled 'The Identification and Management of Risks Caused by Electrostatic Discharges (ESD) in Various Jobs', several companies, the Work Safety Foundation, and VTT Automation jointly WERE DEVELOPING a systematic procedure to control dangers caused by static electricity. The procedure AIMS TO eliminate risks, by identifying and evaluating them. The goal is to create seamless risk management over the entire logistic production chain.

VTT has studied electrostatic risks in several workplaces, at different times of the year. The electrostatic properties of protective footwear and clothing have also been investigated. The Finnish clothing and footwear industry is well placed to respond to new, even international requirements, in the production of electrostatic protective equipment.

Salme Nurmi

Good management of electrostatic risks can improve safety, especially in the chemical industry, which handles and transports ever increasing quantities of highly flammable substances. Explosions also cause substantial costs through lost production. In the electronics industry, the dangers of static electricity must be reduced, as the greater integration density and smaller size of components have made them increasingly sensitive to damage.

Further information: VTT Automation, Salme Nurmi, tel. +358 (0)3 316 3207 and +358 (0)40 560 6603.

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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