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Author Topic: Is this safety overkill?  (Read 3087 times)

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masspecs

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Is this safety overkill?
« on: June 20, 2018, 05:35:16 AM »

I'm not sure if this is the right subforum, but here goes: I'm in charge of a project to improve safety in my laboratory. One issue that I've noticed is flammable solvents are used around electronics. They are typically dispensed from plastic squirt bottles and/or dispensed by plastic pipettes out of plastic containers. These plastic primary containers are typically kept in plastic secondary containment bins on the benchtop. These are around computers, outlets and electronic equipment. My idea is to buy wireless anti-stat bracelets and to ground the secondary containers with small grounding wires. Am I barking up the right tree in terms of mitigating risk?
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Enthalpy

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Re: Is this safety overkill?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 08:01:48 AM »

What do you call "wireless anti-stat bracelet"? I can't really imagine such a thing.

Neither do I clearly see how to ground a squirt bottle. Is there a conductive deformable plastic?

I never saw a solvent ignited by a static discharge, but didn't use them all the day neither. If it were just for me at home, I'd say "overkill", sure. Especially as grounding everything is quite uncomfortable at a workplace.

- If you believe static discharges are a worry, begin by installing an antistatic floor. This wastes no operation time, doesn't go against comfort and efficiency. If your workers experience static discharges, this is the solution, and it will be accepted happily. If no-one experiences static discharges, I'd do nothing.

- Your solvents are easily flammable, this implies that they're volatile. I'd worry more about inhaling the vapours regularly than about a hypothetical fire risk. Did you check how unhealthy these vapours are? Can you find solvents as efficient (this is a condition for the workers or managers to accept them) that are little volatile?

- There are probably dozens of ignition sources at the work benches that are more credible than static discharges. Electric switches for instance.
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masspecs

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Re: Is this safety overkill?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 10:11:18 AM »

What do you call "wireless anti-stat bracelet"? I can't really imagine such a thing.

Neither do I clearly see how to ground a squirt bottle. Is there a conductive deformable plastic?

I never saw a solvent ignited by a static discharge, but didn't use them all the day neither. If it were just for me at home, I'd say "overkill", sure. Especially as grounding everything is quite uncomfortable at a workplace.

- If you believe static discharges are a worry, begin by installing an antistatic floor. This wastes no operation time, doesn't go against comfort and efficiency. If your workers experience static discharges, this is the solution, and it will be accepted happily. If no-one experiences static discharges, I'd do nothing.

- Your solvents are easily flammable, this implies that they're volatile. I'd worry more about inhaling the vapours regularly than about a hypothetical fire risk. Did you check how unhealthy these vapours are? Can you find solvents as efficient (this is a condition for the workers or managers to accept them) that are little volatile?

- There are probably dozens of ignition sources at the work benches that are more credible than static discharges. Electric switches for instance.

Our floors are currently made of rubber, which I guess is a pretty good precautionary measure.

Also, these are what I'm talking about:

https://www.amazon.com/OTGO-Cordless-Discharge-Adjustable-Electrician/dp/B0757FJ768/ref=sr_1_6?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1529498306&sr=1-6&keywords=cordless+wrist+strap+anti-static&dpID=51uMQuddfsL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
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Borek

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Re: Is this safety overkill?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 12:17:29 PM »

Also, these are what I'm talking about:

Perhaps I am missing something, but it is a voodoo to me, I don't see how these are going to work. You are either grounded, or you are not. Wearing on the wrist something that is not grounded is about as effective against static electricity as a tin foil hat.
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Enthalpy

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Re: Is this safety overkill?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 12:42:28 AM »

Also, these [wireless anti-stat bracelet] are what I'm talking about:
https://www.amazon.com/OTGO-Cordless-Discharge-Adjustable-Electrician/dp/B0757FJ768/ref=sr_1_6?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1529498306&sr=1-6&keywords=cordless+wrist+strap+anti-static&dpID=51uMQuddfsL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

I'd say: they are plain swindle.

Our floors are currently made of rubber, which I guess is a pretty good precautionary measure.

Most rubbers are excellent insulators. They build static charges up, what you don't want. What you need is a (just minimally) conductive floor. They are built and sold for that purpose.

More generally: do the workers experience static discharges? If yes, the comfortable answer is the floor, and in very bad cases, the workbenches too. If not, I'd do nothing.

Static discharges are a worry in the first line for the electronics.
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OrganicDan96

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Re: Is this safety overkill?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 10:36:08 PM »

these wireless antistatic bracelets are a scam
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pcm81

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Re: Is this safety overkill?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 01:46:13 PM »

I'm not sure if this is the right subforum, but here goes: I'm in charge of a project to improve safety in my laboratory. One issue that I've noticed is flammable solvents are used around electronics. They are typically dispensed from plastic squirt bottles and/or dispensed by plastic pipettes out of plastic containers. These plastic primary containers are typically kept in plastic secondary containment bins on the benchtop. These are around computers, outlets and electronic equipment. My idea is to buy wireless anti-stat bracelets and to ground the secondary containers with small grounding wires. Am I barking up the right tree in terms of mitigating risk?

Don'd lump "electronic" and "spark hazard" into one category. Protect flammable substances from sparks, not from all electronics. Given the description you gave I am thinking about flammable vapours and sparks from people plugging a computer into outlet receptacle, long before i am thinking about plastic containers sparking. Did you check if they may already be made from static dissipative plastic? Is the room vented or does it allow accumulation of flammable vapour? Are the secondary containers vented or allow accumulation of vapour?
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