Humans feel the effects of static electricity every day. From shuffling across a carpet to shock a friend, to working in environments with high amounts of electricity, this unpleasant physical phenomenon requires special consideration to prevent.
For employees working in an environment such as an electronics assembly line or in electronics repair, the effects of Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) pose a serious risk to the equipment, electronics, and materials necessary for operations. These incidents are common in the semiconductor, automotive, medical industries and on electronic assembly lines.
It is important for these work environments to equip themselves with high-quality materials and furniture scientifically designed to dissipate the effects of ESD. These industries will save thousands of dollars in repair costs and increase their productivity by taking simple steps for ESD protection. Adding ESD chairs to compliment an existing ESD program is one way to prevent ESD from damaging expensive electronic components.
What Is an ESD Chair?
ESD occurs when an object that doesn’t conduct electricity collects static electricity on its surface. This static electricity collects when one object remains in contact with another non-conducting object for a period of time, such as your shoes on a carpeted surface or between your clothes and your chair.
When you get out of your chair, you bring the static electricity with you. Anything you touch next has the potential to get shocked – and when that object is metal or electronic, this can result in serious damage.
People have a static electricity tolerance of 20,000 volts, meaning that a shock won’t occur until the body has built-up that amount of static electricity. Sensitive electronic devices can have a tolerance of less than 1 volt and can stand up to 100 volts before breaking beyond repair.
An ESD chair can prevent this from happening. ESD chairs feature static dissipative fabrics, conductive casters and drag chains which minimize static electricity buildup and provide a space for discharge if a buildup occurs.
Four qualities to look for in a top-notch ESD chairs are third-party quality verifications, ergonomic capabilities, warranty and upholstery material.
Third-Party Quality Verification
Less expensive ESD chairs from foreign suppliers or major chain stores are often lower quality than USA-made, more expensive ESD chairs. Many chairs marketed as ESD are not as effective as a chair with a quality verification from a trusted third party.
To ensure you are purchasing an effective, top-quality ESD chair, look for a certification from the Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA). For example, all Biofit ESD chairs from Correct Products are BIFMA compliant.
Ergonomic chairs are comfortable and functional. If employees are spending most of their day sitting down, an ergonomic ESD chair is a worthy investment. In addition, an ergonomic ESD chair will increase worker productivity.
Look for an ergonomic chair with an adjustable seat for height differences, five-legged pedestal base, adjustable and cushioned armrests, adequate lumbar support and a comfortable seat that allows for even weight distribution. Chairs with these ergonomic qualities are prime for comfort and productivity.
Lesser expensive ESD chairs that are less effective will break down easier than a high quality, more expensive ESD chair. As a result, the manufacturers of these chairs either do not supply a warranty or provide limited coverage.
Always evaluate an ESD chair’s warranty before choosing one to purchase.
ESD Upholstery Choices
ESD chairs come with many different coverings to choose from. Typically, these coverings are fabric or vinyl, but some workplaces may require Polyurethane or Polypropylene for their resistance to water, chemicals and various coatings.
Users may prefer fabric for its comfort and vinyl because it is easy to clean and long-lasting – the decision is up to the purchaser’s preference and work area application.
ESD chairs are necessary equipment, and a smart investment for environments working with static sensitive electronics and devices. Contact Correct Products today for more information on ESD chairs and ESD safe workstations.