Static electricity also can cause a shock. However, static electricity causes a shock in a different
way and is generally not as severe as the type of shock described earlier.
Static electricity can build up on the surface of an object and under the right conditions, can
discharge to a person. This causes a shock. The most familiar example of this is when a person
reaches for a door knob or other metal object on a cold, relatively dry day and receives a shock.
However, static electricity also can cause shocks or can just discharge to an object with much
more serious consequences. For example, when friction causes a high-level of static electricity
to build up at a specific spot on an object, it can cause serious consequences. This can happen
simply through handling plastic pipes and materials or during normal operation of rubberized
drive or machine belts found in many worksites.
In these cases, for example, static electricity can potentially discharge when sufficient amounts
of flammable or combustible substances are located nearby and cause an explosion. Grounding
or other measures may be necessary to prevent this static electricity buildup and the results.