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For our workshop, I'm thinking about buying a big ESD mat to cover the whole workbench (5.5 m), so it won't be a "ready to use" one, but a roll to cut to the right dimensions, and to which I need to add the connector(s) to ground.

Now the question is: where should I connect the wrist strips:

  • directly to the earthing point? (it's what we do currently with our small mats, that have a single connector)
  • or to the mat? (it would be cheaper, and probably more convenient to use)

Is one solution safer (for the user and/or the electronics) than the other?

If it matters, for now, the cables we use all have built in 1 MΩ resistors, and some of our grounding points also include a 1 MΩ resistors (but not all of them). Anyway, we will buy new grounding point plus and cables for this workbench, so we can use something else if better suited.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "If it matters, for now, the cables we use all have built in 1 MΩ resistors," It matters, and is required to prevent your ESD system from just dissipating static (equalizing potential), to becoming a direct short (during a failure episode) that increases the possibility of electrocution. Use straps with resistors. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 16:36

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Now the question is : where should I connect the wrist strips

I'd connect wrist band to the mat and the mat to earth: -

enter image description here

Image from here.

Is one solution safer (for the user and/or the electronics) than the other?

Either are just as safe but, my preference is to be able to visually see that a wrist band is connected to the mat because, sometimes, the wall socket cannot be readily seen and, if it's removed it's not the end of the world in terms of protecting the sensitive electronics. Reason: it's static discharge picked up by the user that needs to be equalized to the electronics (via the mat) and, not necessarily hard earth.

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