Q: We have an ESD tile floor in our testing lab. During a recent AS9100 audit we were asked why we don’t use wrist straps. Since our ISO9100 & 2 certified calibration provider only uses them when they have to certify the repair of a system and we don’t do that do we need more than the flooring? (booties, straps, etc.)
A: The answer to your question is, YES. In accordance to EOS/ESD standards, an ESD floor in conjunction with Heel Grounders, ESD Booties, ESD Foot Wear does NOT take the place of using Personnel grounded Wrist Straps at the workstation. So the basic ESD program would include the technician wearing a Wrist Strap.
Protective personnel grounding products such as; heel straps, booties and shoes working in conjunction with an ESD floor are designed for processes within your ESD program where the technician has to be mobile within an ESDPA, (ESD Protected Area) where the electrostatic sensitive device is not protected in an ESD protective container or shielded in some manner, e.g. ESD Bag, Bin, Tote, Box, Tray, Container, etc.
If your process has technical personnel setting or standing at a workstation they DO require grounding via a Wrist Strap. So one doesn’t necessarily take the place of the other, and both may be required depending on your personnel and their mobility throughout the plant.
If your technical staff removes their wrist strap to transport an ESD sensitive device or component outside the ESD protected area, the device also needs to be shielded as well as the technician being properly outfitted with ESD shoes, booties or heel straps. Within the ESDPA, they do require the additional shielding protection of the device, but it is always a good idea when practical.
I hope this helps address your question, please let us know if we can be of further assistance with any ESD questions or ESD protective product requirements you and your team may be sourcing.