Safety Regulations & Code Compliance for Paint Booths and Spray Painting – A Guide
Paint booths are a critical aspect of safely applying coatings in a facility. There are a variety of rules and regulations pertinent to the operation of a paint booth that are important to understand. By understanding the related rules of your paint booth you can better understand why they are required for spray operations as well as safety factors that you should consider after use of your paint booth.
The four most common regulatory bodies related to paint booths in the United States of America include the EPA, OSHA, NFPA, and International Fire Code. Each agency has varying roles in relation to spray applications and safety. In this article we will cover the primary areas that each organization works with relating to paint booths, if you have questions it is ideal to speak with the organizations directly and should coordinate with the appropriate local authority from each agency to ensure you have a full understanding of all safety regulations in relation to paint booths they may have additional people to connect with to ensure full safety is adhered to.
The EPA relates to paint booths as they are often concerned with the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCS) you produce. VOC’s are compounds that are harmful to the atmosphere that are present to varying degrees in coatings. The EPA has offices in each states and in addition to national regulations states often have regulations related to VOC’s as well. For a good list of resources the EPA has this directory which lists a lot of pertinent state level information. They also have a good summary resource of important things to know about EPA regulations and paint spraying here which highlights rules related to reporting requirements and steps to take when considering a paint booth or spray operation.
OSHA’s primary role in relation to paint booths is overall safety. Particular areas that OSHA is concerned with include painter safety and safety of the spray environment. They offer an overview of pertinent safety information here . Important areas of consideration include adequate space around the paint booth, electrical safety near painting operations, fire extinguishing regulations for paint booths, and operator safety including storage of chemicals as well as safety equipment. OSHA also has a listing of local offices here. Coordinating with your local connection will help to ensure you have a full understanding of all the aspects of safety that OSHA is in charge of.
The National Fire Protection Agency is primarily responsible for regulations related to fire safety and spray applications. In particular NFPA 1 covers the entire fire code and NFPA 33 is the section of fire code that governs safety related to spray applications. Important aspects that are covered in NFPA 33 include booth performance requirements, spray areas vs spray booths, and important things to avoid to limit any risk of fire during spray applications. Typically the local connection to speak with regarding NFPA 33 regulations is your areas fire marshal as they should have a thorough understanding of NFPA 33. You can and should always look up your local fire marshal to connect with or if you need further help NFPA has a list of regional offices here.
International Fire Code
In addition, to NFPA the International Fire Code is also important for paint booths. In particular Chapter 15 deals with important regulations related to paint booths. The IFC is available here. Often your local fire marshal or building inspector will also be a valuable resource in determining that these guidelines are met.
Ultimately this can be a lot to consider if you are evaluating a paint booth. The good news is that a quality paint booth manufacturer like Global Finishing Solutions will meet the requirements for these codes. If you have questions about paint booth and spray regulation safety contact us today and will help point you toward the pertinent people to know and answer any questions.