The reliability and quality of today’s highly sensitive electronic products is strongly influenced by compliance with electrostatic charge protection regulations. We recommend international standards for reference.

Important standards

The IEC 61340 series of standards provides basic answers to questions about ESD protection. Here we present the most important standards:

Electrostatics Part 2 General test methods:

IEC 61340-2-1 Process method – ability of materials and products to discharge electrostatic charges
IEC 61340-2-3 test method for determining the resistance and resistivity of solid planar materials used to avoid electrostatic charge

Electrostatics Part 3 Models:

IEC 61340-3-1 method for simulation of electrostatic discharges: Human Body Model (HBM) Component Testing
IEC 61340-3-2 method for simulation of electrostatic discharges: Machine Model (MM) Component Testing

Electrostatics Part 4 Special test methods:

IEC 61340-4-1 Fixed test methods for specific applications section 1: Electrostatic behaviour of floor coverings and installed floors
IEC 61340-4-3 Standard test methods for specific applications – Footwear
IEC 61340-4-5 Standard test methods for specific applications – Methods for characterising the electrostatic protection of footwear and flooring in combination with a person
IEC 61340-4-6 Standard test methods for specific applications – wrist straps
IEC 61340-4-7 Standard test methods for specific applications – ionisation
IEC 61340-4- Standard test methods for specific applications – electrostatic discharge shielding – Bags
IEC 61340-4-9 Standard test methods for specific applications – clothing
IEC 61340-4-10 Tests for the protection of electrostatic sensitive devices – two-point resistance measurements

Electrostatics Part 5 General requirements:

IEC 61340-5-1 Protection of electronic devices from electrostatic phenomena – General requirements

IEC 61340-5-1 Supplement 1, Part 5-2 Protection of electronic devices from electrostatic phenomena – User guide

IEC 61340-5-3 Properties and requirements classifications for packaging which can be used for components that are sensitive to electrostatic discharge.

Background of standards

What are standards, what are they for and who makes them?

Norms define standards and greatly facilitate national and international trade.
Standards are voluntary agreements between those who formulate them.
In Germany, standards govern over 80% of technical details of products or processes.

Technical standards define requirements such as dimensions, weights, tolerances and measurement methods.
Standards represent the current state of the art and the ergonomic findings (which themselves can change.) They include mandatory rules or recommendations.
More recently, management systems, such as operational quality management or rules of organizational work design are also being standardised.
The German Institute for DIN Standardisation is the most prominent organization for standardisation in Germany since 1975 by contracting with the Federal Government.
DIN is obliged to apply the European standards (DIN EN). International standards such as ISO do not apply in Germany, except where adopted by DIN.

International standardization

The International Electrotechnical Commission IEC is the oldest international organisation for standardisation which develops the standards in the field of electrical engineering and therefore many product standards that are relevant for occupational safety and health. The national standardisation bodies from some 130 countries work together in the International Organization for Standardisation ISO. Their work follows a similar pattern as that of DIN due to its principle of voluntary action. Similar to the DIN standards, ISO standards are also created largely based on the principle of consensus.

Further standardisation institutions based on international cooperation are ITU (International Telecommunication Union), CIE (International Commission on illumination), IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) ILO (International Labour Office) and WHO (World Health Organization).

European standardization

European standardization bodies

Intensifying European cooperation led in 1957 to the establishment of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). The latter, based with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), is based in Brussels. All EU and EFTA countries are represented in CEN.

Harmonised technical standards for the single market

The objective of European standardisation is to contribute to fulfilling the essential safety objectives of the EU directives on the harmonisation of the market pursuant to Article 100a EWG Treaty. Here you will find requirements relating to construction and equipment, such as the Machinery Directive.

The harmonised EU standards specify the guidelines and contain descriptions of possible technical solutions. The level of security throughout Europe should be established through voluntary adherence to recognised standards

European standardisation is based on the international standards. European standards should be taken up into national standards, i.e. DIN (DIN, EN).

Mission of the EU Commission

The harmonised standards are created by order of the European Commission (mandate) of the European standardisation bodies and then ratified. However, requests for standardisation can also be made by individuals.

European Standards (EN) are non-binding, and manufacturers, for example, do not have to observe them. At the same time, thanks to compliance with the standards the basic safety requirements of a directive are met.

A manufacturer’s product is then EN compliant. A CE mark can be applied and the product may be freely marketed within the EU. For consumers, EN provides protection and strengthens confidence in products and services.

Important addresses

In the German-speaking area the ESD Forum e.V. offers annual meetings as a basis for the exchange of interested parties.

Please find more details here below.

International Electrotechnical Commission

ISO International Organization for Standardization

CENELEC, Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotéchnique

ETSI, European Telecommunications Standards Institute

Europäische Agentur für Sicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz am Arbeitsplatz

 DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.

Beuth Verlag GmbH

KAN Kommission Arbeitsschutz und Normung, Geschäftsstelle, (Deutschland)

ESD Forum e.V.

 Österreichisches Normungsinstitut /Austrian Standards Institute

Arbeitsinspektion Österreich

 Magyar Szabványügyi Testület

Munkavédelem Foglalkoztatás-felügyelet (Arbeitssicherheit Ungarn)

Czech Office for Standards, Metrology and Testing (ÚNMZ) (Arbeitssicherheit Tschechien)

 AFNOR – Association Française de Normalisation

Ministère du Travail (Arbeitssicherheit Frankreich)

ANSI – American National Standards Institute


ESD Association

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