Research into the damage sustained by the reticles (photomasks) used to print semiconductor devices is summarized. It is explained why ESD prevention alone does not necessarily provide adequate protection for such highly electrostatic-sensitive objects. The standard approach to ESD prevention used in the semiconductor industry is shown to increase the risk of other damage mechanisms than ESD to which reticles are far more sensitive. Insights gained from this research are then applied to the methods being used to protect sensitive electronic, optoelectronic and micro- electro-mechanical devices during their manufacture and handling. Similar weaknesses to those identified in the widely-established approach to reticle handling are found. Equipotential bonding is shown to expose field-sensitive devices to a heightened risk of damage and to reduce the effectiveness of essential static-reduction technology.