Workplace Safety

Hazards Resulting From Improper Operation

Principle hazards, which can result from improper application technology used in the booth, (for example, wheel covers already coated in paint thrown in corner of booth between uses, then reused), improper balance or insufficient maintenance are:

Danger of fire or explosion:

Chemical imbalance in the working area during the painting phase due to not turning the unit on, operating in the wrong phase (bake), or clogging of the filters.
Atmospheric imbalance in the environment caused by the emission of solids and airborne particles of the painting substance (other than those intended) due to the insufficient operation of the exhaust paint arrestor filters.

If enough particulate accumulates in the booth, there is a danger of spontaneous combustion. In one situation, the booth sweepings were left in a neat little pile in the middle of the booth for the weekend, and workers Monday found that little pile smoldering.

Fire and explosion due to inadequate, or total lack of ventilation during the operating phases of the booth (painting, flash-off and bake).

A heavy buildup of overspray on the floor, in the ductwork, the heating system, or the pit, should be prevented. It could spontaneously ignite or ignite from some type of equipment malfunction.

Fire or explosion due to an improperly operating burner.

Actions Forbidden Inside the Booth

  1. Preparing, mixing and/or storing solvents.
  2. Storing containers for paints or solvents (even if empty), or rags and other objects which are spotted or stained with paint and/or solvents.
  3. Wearing overalls or other articles of clothing which are spotted or stained with paint and/or solvents.
  4. Smoking.
  5. Using tools which produce a particulate spray (grinding or welding – which makes sparks!).
  6. Applying booth coating with the booth in operation and with an approved spray device.
  7. Using electrical devices of any kind.
  8. Storing and/or consuming food and beverages.
  9. Storing dangerous articles or substances (for example, spray cans).

Precautions To Be Taken Inside The Booth

  1. Replace the filters as soon as necessary. It is important to reiterate that the excessive clogging of the filters will result in a decrease in the airflow, allowing particulate to harden and drop onto the painted surface, causing a dimple effect in the finish.
  2. Clean and perform regular maintenance on all parts, which are subject to wear, such as blower, heat exchanger, burner, dampers, and all control devices.
  3. Clean all ductwork as necessary.
  4. All accessories (for example, air compressors, air dryers, breathable air systems, etc.) used in relation with the paint spray booth must be designed for use with spray booth systems and maintained per manufacturer’s specifications.

Protecting The Painter

The spray booth protects the painter or operator from toxic materials in only a small way. Instead, he counts on his protective suit and hood, respirator, and breathe-able air supply to provide defense against harmful materials.

Sound Level Management

Unmanaged sound in the booth area can reach 90 dBs or more. The very velocity of air creates sound that can reach or exceed safe levels. Airflow that is not laminar generates more noise by creating vibrations in the booth and duct structures.
Sound management technology provides a way of reducing noise levels, thereby improving the safety and quality of the working environment by reducing fatigue and creating an atmosphere where instruction can be communicated.

Examples

  1. A train 100 meters away = 85 dB
  2. A 50 kW electric motor = 90 dB.
  3. A spray gun at 60 psi = 105 dB
  4. A nearby jet taking off = 140 dB.
  5. Threshold of human ear pain = 125 dB.

Exhaust Fan

  1. Mount fan outside building.
  2. Mount fan at ceiling of building.
  3. Allow no obstructions before or after fan.
  4. Do not mount offset or elbow right above the fan.
  5. Do not mount the fan directly on top of exhaust chamber.

Exhaust Duct

  1. Caulk all joints.
  2. Attach to booth with flexible coupling.
  3. Add insulated exhaust mufflers – our testing indicates that two inline mufflers reduce noise by 2-3 dB.
  4. Avoid 90° bends – make the change in direction as gentle as possible to minimize turbulence (noise source in this case) as much as possible – for example, use a 22½° elbow + a straight section + another 22½° elbow = 45° turn, but minimizes turbulence, and therefore, noise.

Compliance

Ignorance of the regulations and procedures is not a defense against prosecution, and penalties for non-compliance are becoming more severe. It pays to become familiar with all the agencies having jurisdiction.