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Common Paint Booth Safety Violations

K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,015Administrator El Jefe
edited April 19 in Paint Booths
As a manufacturer safety is always a top priority. One area that can often be a source of safety problems is your paint department and in particular your paint booth. The following are common areas of potential violation of paint booth safety.

Common Paint Booth Safety Violation # 1 – Electrical Equipment

NFPA 33 is the safety code that dictates critical information related to fire safety in paint booths. One important area that is addressed by NFPA 33 is ignition sources and paint booths. NFPA 33 classifies the area within the paint booth as a class 1 division 1 area. This essentially means you cannot have any electrical or any sources of ignition within the confines of the paint booth or within a certain amount of space around the opening of the paint booth. Practically speaking this could be anything from a heater to a radio, all are considered ignition sources and would put the painter at danger as well as be a safety violation. An additional common electrical source that is often overlooked is electric drills for mixing paint, unless they are explosion proof they are considered an ignition source. In a paint booth to safely mix your coatings you need a non electrical drill like an air powered mixing drill.

Common Paint Booth Safety Violation # 2 – Respiratory Protection

A common misunderstanding is that if you are using a paint booth the paint booth is preventing the painter from being exposed to any harmful chemicals. However OSHA 1910.94(c)(6)(iii)(a) states that respirators are required when the operator is downstream of the object being sprayed. This essentially means that you should always be wearing a respirator when your in a paint booth to ensure you are not exposed to harmful fumes from the paint you are using. Depending on what you are painting you may require additional special requirements for your respirator, like a forced fed air respirator. This is an area that you can check with your coatings provider to see if there are any exceptionally dangerous chemicals in your paint that require a special respirator, one common harmful chemical that you should use a force fed respirator is with coatings that have chromate included in them but this can be verified with your paint provider.

Common Paint Booth Safety Violation # 3 – Not changing out your filters or using the wrong paint booth filters

Your paint booth filters act to capture overspray properly and ensure you do not release overspray into the atmosphere. In order to ensure they work effectively they must be changed at appropriate intervals. Failure to do so creates overspray building up inside your paint booth and can negatively impact air flow. The best way to ensure your paint booth filters are being changed at an appropriate schedule is to use a paint booth manometer, and a manometer can be a requirement that is often overlooked.

Additionally the EPA has set forth requirements of the minimum effective filtration that a paint booth can use. There are also special requirements for filters if you spray certain types of coating that are covered under The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”). You should know if your spraying coatings that will be problematic in this way and if you are you need to ensure the filters you have selected are properly designed for NESHAP coatings. Commonly this will require a multi layered filter where there are atleast 2 or sometimes 3 stages of filters to properly collect dangerous over spray.

Common Paint booth Safety Violation # 4 – Storing excessive coatings in the Paint Booth

NFPA 33 8.2.2 states limitations on the volume of flammable liquids that can be stored outside of identified storage areas like paint storage cabinets. The limitation is defined as the greater of the amount required for 24 hours of spray operations or 25 gallons (NFPA 33 2016) . If you have large amounts of paint sitting inside your paint booth this would be a potential safety violation.

Common Paint Booth Safety Violation # 5 – Not doing all your painting inside the Paint Booth enclosure

To be considered a paint booth you have to be painting within the confines of a paint booth. If you paint outside of the booth enclosure you may no longer be considered to be using a paint booth. This creates a variety of regulation concerns and safety concerns. If you are painting outside your paint booth you may need to evaluate a larger designed paint booth to ensure you can fit your entire product in the paint booth and perform your painting in the enclosure of the paint booth.

Ultimately paint booths are designed to help keep you from danger. By properly using the paint booth and considering critical safety factors you can be best prepared to ensure you are safely operating your paint booth.

Comments

  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,092Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @K2Concepts It seems like nit picking, but our booths were classified as Class 1 Division 2. The difference was

    "Class I, Division 1 classified locations
    An area where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors or liquids can exist all of the time or some of the time under normal operating conditions."

    "Class I, Division 2 or Zone 2 classified locations
    An area where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors or liquids are not likely to exist under normal operating conditions. In this area the gas, vapor or liquids would only be present under abnormal conditions (most often leaks under abnormal conditions). As a general guide for Zone 2, unwanted substances should only be present under 10 hours/year or 0–0.1% of the time"

    If your ventilation is working correctly, you should not reach an ignitable concentration (flashpoint) from your spray gun unless its an abnormal condition. This does not include holding a lighter in front of your gun. I do not remember seeing the liquid stipulation at the time our booths were classified.

    The simple fact is, if you are doing this as a business, you need to know the codes. Intrinsically safe (below 48v) is allowed inside Class1 Div2 but not Div1... so a cordless drill would be allowed, even if there was spraying going on. In addition, some communities would allow Div2 but treat Div 1 like you are making nuclear weapons in your shop. In the end, its up to the local inspectors to define and regulate (RARELY do they have experience with this and will likely charge exorbitantly to let you proceed) and if something goes wrong, YOU can still be held liable (even if you did everything they say)
  • royroy Posts: 114Member ✭✭✭
    @K2Concepts & @WileECoyote I haven’t posted in awhile but still read this forum religiously lol... I just went through major upgrades due to insurance and OSHA requirements.....New paint booth and paint cabinets etc and sure enough just when I thought I was compliant I had to change wiring due to an electrical outlet being within three foot of my booth.......so as always great info guys....
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,148Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    roy said:

    @K2Concepts & @WileECoyote I haven’t posted in awhile but still read this forum religiously lol... I just went through major upgrades due to insurance and OSHA requirements.....New paint booth and paint cabinets etc and sure enough just when I thought I was compliant I had to change wiring due to an electrical outlet being within three foot of my booth.......so as always great info guys....

    I had to move a fluorescent light fixture for the same reason. But... it was actually on the ceiling about 7ft above the top of the opening, but directly over the opening of the booth. So the inspector took that as “within 3 feet of the front of the opening.” Didn’t make sense to me, but he was actually really nice and I was ok w moving it. Choose your battles.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,015Administrator El Jefe
    @MidOhioHydrographics Yea I had to move a couple of lights because of that same thing...it turned out ok because I was thinking of moving them anyways...

    But smile and wave at the inspector and say "Yessir"...they like that kind of thing...


  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,092Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    If any of you ever want to fight it, here is the requirement... But I don't advise it


  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,015Administrator El Jefe
    Yea better off doing what they want...easier...
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