Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: Maintaining a Paint Booth
A paint booth with built-in ventilation is an effective engineering control for employee exposure to the harmful chemicals in paint. However, if not maintained on a daily and periodic basis, it can do more harm than good.
Under OSHA 1910.107(b) spray booths , an open-faced paint booth should have an average flow rate of no less than 100 feet per minute. For all paint booths, enclosed and open face, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and the World Health Organization recommend a minimum average velocity of 100 feet per minute to control paint vapors. Measurements are taken using a velometer or anemometer and are averaged over the face of the booth. In an enclosed booth, measurements can be taken with several traverses across the booth and averaged for the entire booth.
Regular maintenance is crucial for paint booths. Here are some suggestions for periodic inspection. Keep in mind that frequency may vary depending upon usage. Daily as well as periodic checks should be recorded. A checklist is a good way to keep a record.
- Every day, mop or vacuum the floor. Check the manometer to see that the pressure differential between the front and back of the filter bank is no greater than 0.5 inches. If greater, the filters should be changed.
- Every week, take airflow measurements to see that they meet the 100 feet per minute standard. A smoke tube can be used to visually check if the booth is effectively exhausting the smoke.
- Every month, check the fan belts for cracks and tension. Much like automotive belts, they can harden or glaze, and begin to slip. Ensure positive seals on doors, door latches, door hinges, floor sweeps and door gaskets. Clean the exhaust plenum by vacuuming excessive material buildup.
- Every three months, check caulking between seams and fill any gaps or cracks. Inspect ductwork for gaps or excessive buildup.
Make sure that operators and maintenance personnel are properly trained. A paint booth is an important part of the production process. However, safety and not just performance, should be a primary consideration when conducting maintenance activities.
For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at www.occusafeinc.com
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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