While setting up your static-safe laboratory workstation may seem like an overly complicated task, it’s actually much easier than you’d imagine. However, before taking on any job that could pose physical injury, it’s critical to understand the potential hazards and what tools you will need to get started.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a static-free workbench is and how you can safely and effectively set up your static-safe lab bench.
Static-Safe Workbenches for Your Lab
What is a Static-Safe Workbench?
A static-safe workbench is a workstation that has been established to efficiently control static discharge and prevent problems that are often caused by static discharge. With a static-safe workspace, all surfaces, objects, people, and devices are kept at the same electric charge. This is done by using grounded materials that cover all surfaces, tools, and containers.
Components to Building a Static-Safe Workbench
As previously mentioned, setting up a static-safe workbench is much easier than you might imagine. In fact, only a few components are needed. Take a look below at the significant elements that you will be looking at when setting up your workbench.
Wrist straps are the most frequently used grounding devices when setting up a static-safe workspace. These are used to connect people to the ground and are a required component for the person using the workstation.
Work Surface Mat
Work Surface mats are another essential component of static-safe workstations, and are used to provide a surface that will remove electrostatic charges from the workspace. Such mats not only ground personnel while they are at their workstation, but they also ground objects that are placed on the mat itself.
Static-safe workbenches must be grounded, and a grounding cord is one way to do so. This connects the surface of the workstation to the ground below it, and is best utilized when the grounding cord uses firm fitting connecting devices like metallic crimps, snaps, and banana plugs to link to specific ground points.
Foot grounders are designed to provide a continuous grounding path and eliminate electrostatic charges from employees. They are easy to install and can be used with traditional work shoes by connecting the grounding tab below the sole of the shoe.
Before Setting Up Your Static-Safe Workbench
Before setting up, there are a few things you should remember to ensure your safety at all times. Aside from making sure you’re not working with equipment that is plugged in, there are several other things to consider that will ensure your well-being.
Use a Ground/Polarity Tester
To verify your work environment is static-free, it is recommended to confirm that you are working with correctly wired outlets. Because most of the equipment that these workstations will be using rely on grounded sockets to dissipate charge efficiently, testing the sockets beforehand is quite essential.
A ground/polarity tester is necessary to help you confirm that nearby outlets are wired correctly and are also great to help you identify which sockets dissipate charge more efficiently.
Indeed, to ensure that you are not working with an unstable work environment, use a ground/polarity tester first to be sure that nearby outlets are properly grounded before you begin any work in the area.
Put Down An Antistatic mat
Next, you will want to make sure that you cover your work surface with an antistatic mat to ensure that you are always going to have a suitable place to work on static-sensitive parts. The great thing about antistatic mats is that they allow any residual charge to flow throughout the mat surface and away from the things that you’re working on.
However, to achieve that, your antistatic mat must have a ground lead that can be attached to a properly grounded outlet (one that has been verified using the ground/polarity tester). Most quality anti-static mats have a soapy finish to them that helps the static flow into the floor.
Additionally, antistatic mats can be preserved by using cleaners that are specially made for it. Taking care of your work surface will ensure that it lasts longer and will act more effectively in protecting the components on your workstation.
Use the Wrist Strap System
Lastly, the wrist strap system will make it easier for you to focus on setting up your workbench without having to worry about anything else. As wrist straps connect personnel to the ground, it will ensure that you are always grounded while you are working on the antistatic mat and allow you to focus on the task at hand without having to worry about potential hazards.
Additional Things to Consider
While the previously mentioned components are critical when setting up your static-safe workbench, there are a few other things to consider.
- Stock up on static-free bags of different sizes. These can be used to store parts that are not currently in use that you may need at a later time.
- Use ground wires. Ground wires with alligator clips at both ends are beneficial for grounding specific components or tools that you will be using in your workspace.
- Remain updated! Above all, be sure that you are up to date on all the health and safety hazards before working in a static-safe work environment. Not only is your safety of the utmost concern, but if anything goes wrong within the work environment, it could also create several other disasters that are not only costly but potentially deadly.
Purchase Your Static-Safe Workbench with LabTech Supply Company Today
LabTech Supply Company provides clients with a wide variety of static-safe lab benches, laboratory workstations, lab work tables, and tech benches that are perfect for all types of lab environments. Not only that, but all the equipment made at LabTech Supply Company is made in the U.S., and is done so using the highest quality equipment available.
If you’re building a new laboratory work environment and want to be sure you are using the best equipment available, contact LabTech Supply Company today and let us help you create the best workspace possible.