ESD Test Equipment can be a hotbed for germs. So what precautions can you take during cold and flu season to help prevent the spread of germs?
It doesn’t matter how many people you have on the floor, as little as 10 or over a thousand, or how many shifts you run, 1 or 3. The fact is, your ESD tester see’s a lot of action! During cold and flu season the need to cut down on germ transmission is very important, and in years such as this, COVID-19 presents very complex issues. How do we remain compliant yet protect personnel?
One of the problems we face comes down to the equipment we’ve chosen. Dummy, “go-no-go” test equipment comes with very restrictive parameters. Meaning, the failure limits cannot be adjusted. So typically you’re stuck with a high fail for a wrist strap in the neighborhood of 9M-12.5M, roughly. But why would this matter?
Let’s contrast the aforementioned “dummy” ESD tester, with the ELITE ESD Test System. Applications change for many reasons, but typically because of device sensitivity. However, in a complex situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic, our application needs to change quickly and for atypical factors. And this leads us to our first preventative tip.
ESD Testing with Nitrile Gloves
Did you know your ELITE can test wrist straps and footwear with personnel wearing Nitrile gloves? Nitrile gloves can help prevent the spread of germs and contamination. Top that off with their natural ESD properties, this makes a great option for you and your organization, to help personnel feel safer while remaining compliant.
You don’t need any additional equipment, in fact, you don’t even need to change your processes, retrain anyone, or make large amendments to your control program. All you need to do is click a few settings in the ELITE WebUI and you are all set.
On the Test Settings page found in the ELITE WebUI you will need to make just a few quick adjustments. The first feature we want to enable is Instant Test. What Instant Test will do is force your ELITE to test the moment a badge is scanned or ID is entered. Enable this.
The second thing we want to adjust is the Wrist Strap High Fail parameter. Go ahead and change the High Fail limit to something around 25M. Why 25M? Well, you can choose what’s best for you and your application, but Nitrile gloves will add resistance to the test circuit, and this could be anywhere around 5-15M Ohms. This will not impact the operators path to ground, it’s just to accommodate for the added resistance of the Nitrile.
If you want to be extra safe, adjust your Pass High setting too.
Contact Free ID
We want to limit touch points. Keypads, if used for badging in, are high touch points! If you, like many customers have a secondary ID interface such as barcode or RFID, think about disabling the keypad and enable all personnel to only use contactless forms of ID.
You can disable your keypad on the ELITE in the WebUI. Let your employees and fellow co-workers know the keypad has been disabled and to no longer use it. Better yet, cover it up!
What if you’ve purchased a Keypad only ELITE? Well, all ELITE Complete ESD Test Systems have Wiegand and Serial interfaces for connecting external readers.Think about using an extra reader from around the facility, or contact Botron and we can help you out.
Taking these precautions leaves you well on your way to making everyone feel safer and showing your team you have taken every safety measure you can.
Now not everyone has an ELITE, I’m not sure why, but there are a few simple, common sense things we can all do to prevent the spreading of germs and the contamination thereof.
A few things you can do to increase safety is to supply hand sanitizer before and after an ESD test station. Allowing personnel to clean their hands free of germs prior to testing and after or placing sanitizing wipes which allows them to clean the test switch or anything they might come in contact with. This is a simple to implement action that provides a sense of comfort and safety for personnel, and a proven way to stop the spread of germs.
Keep Your Distance
ESD test stations can have long queues of people waiting to test. Sometimes these lines can take over 15 minutes to process. Make sure, at minimum, you follow CDC guidelines for social distancing personnel, at this time they recommend 6’ of space. These are uncomfortable times, and personal space is more so important than it ever has been. Make sure your team members are respecting the safety of others and help prevent not only the spread of germs but tensions and anxiety.
So that’s it, just a few simple things you can do to help make the workplace a little more safe while remaining compliant. We wish you all the best health, and all the best success.