Maintaining a static-safe work area is critical to preventing defects related to electrostatic discharge (ESD). Workstations should be wired according to ANSI/EIA Standard 625, "Requirements for Handling ESD-Sensitive Devices." Static-dissipative bench mats, floor mats and wrist straps should be connected to a common ground point, which can be an earth ground or an electrical system ground. The ground point should be checked regularly for continuity, because accidental disconnections are common. Workstations should be clean and organized. Food, drink, packing materials, unprotected tools and other clutter should not be allowed.

When wearing static-dissipative lab coats, operators should keep the sleeves cuffed or buttoned at the wrist, with only the wrist strap showing. No jewelry should be exposed. The top button can be unbuttoned, unless it's necessary to prevent contaminating the work area. The coats should be checked regularly for damage and cleaned following the manufacturer's recommendations. Operators should not take lab coats home to clean, since poor cleaning practices can damage the carbon fibers woven into the fabric.

The relative humidity in the facility should be kept between 30 percent and 75 percent.

For more information, visit the Electrostatic Discharge Association at www.esda.org, or the Electronics Manufacturing Productivity Facility at www.empf.org.