Questions And Answers

# List All Questions Search List by Category
Question I get frequently get shocked at work when coming into close proximity with a metal object. Sometimes I don’t even have to touch it. What are your suggestions on how I should connect to “ground”?
Answer You may be experiencing ElectroStatic Discharge or ESD events. Per ESD Association ESD ADV 1.0 Glossary “Electrostatic discharge (ESD) The rapid, spontaneous transfer of electrostatic charge induced by a high electrostatic field. Note: Usually, the charge flows through a spark between two bodies at different electrostatic potentials as they approach one another.”

If electrostatic charges are at different levels, they will seek balance. When this happens rapidly, it’s literally a small lightning bolt. For a person to feel the discharge, it needs to be over 3,000 volts, and considerably higher levels to see the arc. Contact is not essential, as the two bodies approach each other, the discharge can occur.

However, you might be getting an electrical shock from line voltage, and should consider having an electrician review the area.

For ESD control, it is better to eliminate the charge generation. You can use a Digital Field Meter to determine what item near or around the post is tribocharging. Reztore Topical Antistat can be periodically applied and reduce the charge generation; it also will make the surface dissipative, so if connected to ground, charges will be removed. For carpeting, Statproof® Carpet Protector will also reduce tribocharging and make the surface dissipative.

Dissipative is part of the conductive resistance range and for ESD control needs to be connected to ground, and the preferred ground is a third wire AC electrical outlet ground. Insulators, by definition, cannot be grounded.

The problem can even get worse if you wear a wrist strap or otherwise are connected to ground. If you are brought to near zero volts on your body, the “different electrostatic potentials” may be greater and the ESD event more severe.
Related Categories:
If you have found this Q/A useful, please rate it based on its helpfulness.
Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
This question has been rated: 100%100%100%100%100%100%
(100% at 1 Ratings)