Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What is high voltage for the purposes of ESD?

I have read that personnel should not be grounded when working on or around high voltages. Can you tell me what is considered high voltages for the purposes of ESD?

That may depend on your local Health and Safety regulations. However the IEC 61340-5-1 ESD prevention standard regard over 250 V.a.c. and 500 V.d.c. as high voltage. Conventional wrist straps and footwear usually have some level of protection up to those voltages afforded by the resistance built into the wrist band cord or footwear. 61340-5-1 recommends that above these voltages the minimum resistance-to-ground from the person's body should be increased, with a minimum of 750 kohm per 250 V.a.c. (500 V.d.c.). Whether you are happy to do that may depend on your safety analysis and regulations. The manufacturers of your ESD equipment may give some further information on their partcular products.