Safe use and maintenance of paint spray booths
Paint spray booths provide a convenient place for automotive and painting professionals to resurface items without causing damage to shop floor or repair bays. However, it's essential to understand and implement the safety procedures that are necessary to keep workers safe and prevent the inhalation of paint fumes. Air quality is also very important in paint booths, and minimizing the presence of pollutants and contaminants is of paramount importance.
Using Spray Booths Safely
Proper use of a spray booth begins with proper training. It's essential that you invest in worker education to ensure that painters in your place of business are familiar with best safety practices and adhere to them from day to day.
Business owners and managers should take it upon themselves to ensure that proper safety procedures are being followed at all times. Under no circumstances should anyone ever smoke in a paint booth, and proper respiratory equipment, such as dust or gas masks, must be worn at all times; it is the responsibility of the employer to provide this equipment.
All spray booths should be finished with non-flammable coatings, if they're coated at all. Explosion-proof spray booth fans should also be part of the booth's design, and making sure that it's blowing air into the booth from outside it (rather than sucking air out of the booth) is very important. Simply recirculating spray booth air around and around in the unit accomplishes nothing; clean air should be introduced from the outside.
How to Maintain a Safe Environment in Your Spray Booth
In addition to these safety measures, proper maintenance practices should be followed at all times. The air filters used in the spray booths should be changed regularly. If you notice dust buildups on the items left in the spray booth during the painting process, this is an indication that the air filter is already saturated with particles and needs changing. Sticking to a set cleaning schedule is also important.
Static discharge can become a problem in paint spray booths used for preparing and cleaning plastic parts prior to the painting process. Static discharges can severely burn workers, and the only way to prevent this type of accident is to make sure that all metal components in the spray booth are grounded before and after any such work is done.
Fire suppression equipment is another must. While fires in spray booths are rare, the ones that do occur are deadly. Making every effort to prevent accidents before they happen saves your business time, money and, most importantly, lives.