Pioneering Work to Eliminate the Risks of Static Electricity in the Hospital Environment

The origin of the first ESD standard for hospitals

Thanks to the pioneering work of Kanta-Hämeen Keskussairaala in Finland the first ESD standard for hospital environment IEC 61340-6-1: ”Standard for electrostatic control in health care facilities" was released in Jul 13th, 2018.

It was inside the walls of Kanta-Hämeen Keskussairaala in Finland where ESD Expert Mr. Toni Viheriäkoski and the hospital’s Maintenance Manager Mr. Mika Kokkonen made findings related to the challenges and problems caused by static electricity. They identified altogether four key findings regarding ESD risks:

  • the unpleasant electrostatic shocks for the personnel
  • electromagnetic disturbances i.e. EMI of the medical devices
  • contamination control
  • ignition of flammable agents

These recognized risks as well as ways to control them were studied in a project that also Premix participated. The results were reported in a technical paper “Electrostatic Threats in ​Hospital Environment” (can be downloaded from the IEEE Xplore® Digital Library). The paper was presented in September 2014 at the ESDA Symposium organized by ESD Association. Already next year, IEC started preparing the new standard. The project group was led by Mr. Toni Viheriäkoski and included a Premix representative, as well. Participating in the standardization work and thus contributing to eliminating the risks of static electricity is of great importance for us. We want to be a part of building a better healthcare and a safer society.

Electrically conductive materials enable grounding. One concrete action in controlling static electricity - noted in the standard, too - is using EDS control wheels. The standard expects all metallic equipment and furniture with wheels to be grounded. In practice, this means at least two out of four wheels must be either conductive or dissipative.

This is where Premix’s material solutions step in.  From Premix’s product portfolio you can find the right materials for ESD control wheels. For example, the colourable TPU-based carbon fibre compound PRE-ELEC® TPU 16159 ensures the required strength and conductivity.

The work for a better and safer hospital environment continues in Kanta-Hämeen Keskussairaala. In fact, preparations for a new hospital building are currently ongoing and the construction will begin in the near future. Now, it’s the perfect time to make the reasonable material choices regarding ESD protection.

khks-uusi-sairaala-1

The standard IEC 61340-6-1:2018 applies to facilities that provide healthcare including hospitals, care centres and clinics. The document provides technical requirements and recommendations for controlling electrostatic phenomena in healthcare facilities, which includes requirements for equipment, materials, and products used to control static electricity. The requirements of this document do not apply to medical electrical equipment specified in IEC 60601-1 and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical equipment specified in IEC 61010‑2‑101.

Want to know more how Premix’s materials can improve the safety of your environment? Contact us and get acquainted with our solutions for ESD wheels!

Contact us

We will be in touch asap!