Should Healthcare Facilities be Using ESD Flooring?April 20, 2021
AVON, MA, April 16, 2021 — A human being walking on a carpeted floor on a cold, dry day can generate 5,000 volts or more of static electricity. That’s why people literally get shocked when touching somebody else or a metal object. It’s also why medical equipment and electronics used in a medical office or lab can be vulnerable. It’s the big reason why the healthcare industry is taking a hard look at ESD flooring.
Among the many reasons for this concern is the impact static electricity can have on issues related to patient diagnosis and care, such as: Data corruption impacting such items as patient records; diagnostic failure – e.g., the impact static electricity could have on an MRI machine; and patient discomfort.
“During the pandemic, we have heard a lot about the data and how critical it is to patient care. Static control in a healthcare facility plays an important part in safeguarding expensive computer and electronic equipment and also keeping data from being compromised and the fallout from that—delays or misdiagnosis,” said Thomas Ricciardelli, president of SelecTech, Inc., the manufacture of innovative flooring products including its StaticStop ESD tiles.
ESD flooring does not prevent static electricity. It can significantly reduce static electricity to safe levels. Generally, in a healthcare setting, if static charges on people can be kept below 2000 volts, many of the hazards can be significantly reduced. In a healthcare setting, this enables computer and electronics to function without the risk of data or machinery being damaged.
“When the static electricity in a medical office, examination room or lab is under control, it helps ensure the data is accurate, giving the medical professional the information needed to diagnose and treat,” said Ricciardelli.
Typically, ESD flooring is used in an “ESD Controlled” environment and used in areas where there are very sensitive electronic components being assembled. In these types of environments, it’s important to keep voltages much lower, below 100 volts. To accomplish this, the flooring must be used in conjunction with ESD footwear so that there is a good electrical connection between the person and the floor.
“A healthcare setting, while being sensitive to ESD hazards, is not as sensitive as these electronics assembly environments and doesn’t generally require that people wear ESD footwear. Nor it is reasonable to think that ESD footwear would be worn in these environments by patients and staff. That’s why it’s important to look at how different ESD floors perform with regular footwear and ensure that they are capable of keeping voltages on people below 2000 volts,” said Ricciardelli. “We’ve tested all of our ESD flooring products using regular footwear and all keep voltages below 1000 volts.”
For medical centers and hospitals that house data centers with expensive computer equipment and servers, SelecTech offers its StaticStop ESD flooring products. These tiles utilize interlocking technology for easy installation over existing flooring, something that’s quite important to temporary medical facilities. These portable tiles are also easy to maintain.
Made with up to 70 percent recycled materials and 100 percent recyclable, SelecTech’s ESD flooring products meet CA 1350 Indoor Air Quality and is MAS Certified Green.
For more information or to request a sample of StaticStop ESD flooring products, please call 508-583-3200 or visit www.selectech.com.