Posted 2 Sep 2022

5 Paint Booth Safety Measures to Keep in Mind

To reduce the risks of fire or air contamination, as well as potential damage to structures, there are safety measures in a spray booth that should always be kept in mind. These precautions, checks, and inspections should be implemented at every stage of the paint facility’s life cycle, from design and construction to daily use.

Ensuring air quality

Whatever the size of the spray booth or the substrate to be treated, coatings and finishing products contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the operators and the integrity of the equipment. A properly designed and operated paint facility ensures air quality in several ways:

a. Create an enclosed space for the finishing process
b. Capture the overspray before expelling the air outside the booth
c. Maintain balanced air pressure inside the booth
d. Heat the air to the correct terms for the type of work and substrate to be painted

The use of appropriate filters recommended by the manufacturer and replaced at the correct times, the maintenance of ventilation ducts, the use of ventilation systems during painting operations, as well as personal protective equipment, are essential to maintain healthy air throughout the painting process.

Reduce the risks of fire

High temperatures and the fact that many of the finishing products are extremely flammable mean that fire risk reduction in a paint facility must be taken very seriously. The mix of oxygen, flammable material, and an ignition source can cause a fire in a spray booth. Since oxygen cannot be removed from the air and the finishing products are turned into spray particles, the solution is to eliminate the ignition source.

Not only any kind of flame, but also sparks from material processing such as drilling, welding, grinding, and any other operation that generates friction or heat.

Of course, the entire workshop and spray booth must be equipped with fire detection systems as well as flame suppression devices.

Follow safety regulations and standards

Every country has precise regulations about safety in the workplace. In Italy, for example, we refer to the "Testo Unico sulla sicurezza". Besides that, there are specific safety regulations and standards for each activity: in particular, the UNI EN 16985:2019 standard defines the most relevant hazards concerning spray booths. Anyone working in the facility is required to be familiar with it and apply it scrupulously, as well as to verify its compliance in the maintenance and inspections of the facility.

It is also a good idea to purchase spray booths only from suppliers who can certify compliance with all safety codes, as well as have them installed by a professional licensed by the manufacturer so as not to affect the validity of the warranty.

Create safe storage and mixing procedures

Solvents, coatings, finishes, and other flammable liquids must be stored and handled safely. Personnel must wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) during all phases of operation: mixing, moving, and applying finishes.

In addition to storing these products in a dedicated room, you should also mix coatings, solvents, and finishing products in a specific space with adequate ventilation.

Perform regular maintenance of the spray booth

Regular and thorough maintenance of the paint booth can prevent or anticipate many problems, and create a safe working environment. In particular, we recommend:

a. Replace the intake and exhaust air filters according to the frequency recommended by the manufacturer.
b. Keep all flexible pipes (such as those in the booth for compressed air), fans, and other equipment clean and free of debris and spray.
c. Periodically check ducts (with any bird guards), and gaskets for tightness, and repair any leaks.
d. Complete all extraordinary maintenance tasks recommended by the manufacturer.

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