Stop static electricity in the office

Install furniture designed to avoid static electricity

Static electricity is produced when any material regardless of its mass, volume or state is electrically charged, at worst, a spark is produced when it comes into contact with another less charged or uncharged material. It is that typical annoying spark that we feel when touching an object or shaking hands with another person generally it’s not a problem but if you are working in explosive atmospheres it could  cause serious accidents. In addition, static electricity has been linked to an occupational disease called: Semicircular Lipoatrophy.

Just because a spark does not occur, it does not mean that there is no static electricity in the environment.

According to the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), the electrostatic charge in the human body depends on factors such as movement, contact with charged materials, contact with electrical elements, physical characteristics, the humidity of the environment,  material of clothing worn and the type of floor or pavement.

If sparks and other electrostatic charges are frequent, it means that something is failing.

If sparks and other electrostatic charges are frequent, it means that something is failing

How can we avoid or reduce this problem in the office? Here are some basic tips that will help you:

-Avoid direct contact with metal parts of furniture.

-Avoid wearing synthetic clothes and shoes. In the sitting position the feet must rest on the floor try to wear shoes without a rubber sole. Baggy clothes tend to hold less charge than tight clothes.

-Avoid dry environments and moisturize your skin as much as you can. Just washing our hands can dissipate charge or apply a moisturizer.

-Avoid dragging your feet.

-Learn to download or decharge. Always have something metallic on hand (a thimble or a coin for example), take it and touch another metallic element with it. It will not produce the annoying spark and you will have removed any static charge you were carrying.

The company on the other hand can design a workspace specially designed to avoid electrostatic charge. For this, the office must include the following features:

-Design a wiring installation so that when cables are in contact with metal structures ensure that they have been properly.

-Install a floor with conductive or dissipative pavement.

-If the relative humidity is low, the use of humidifiers must be installed and encouraged.

-Avoid ‘all-metal’ furniture.

-Install furniture designed to avoid static electricity.

-Ensure upholstered elements have used antistatic fabrics.

Although most of the time static electricity only produces annoying sparks, preventing their occurance in the work environment can be solved with these basic tips. Forma 5 has antistatic furniture adapted and entirely suitable for areas with risk of electrostatic charge. In the document on Semicircular Lipoatrophy you can learn more about its characteristics.