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- OSHA enforces national regulations to ensure safety in the workplace including access to protective equipment, air quality, lighting, fire control systems and the placement of hazardous operations in the workplace.
- The National Fire Protection Association is a national code that addresses regulations on fire safety equipment, maintenance and evacuation plans. Indoor paint and spray booth operators need to pay special attention to the fire safety requirements set forth in section 33 of the NFPA code.
- Some state government agencies require full compliance of the International Fire Code, a code that enforces regulations on fire safety and prevention in the workplace.
- Depending on your location, certain local building codes, fire protection agencies and environmental agencies might enforce additional requirements that operators need to comply to.
For many operators, a professionally-engineered booth is the most effective and economical way to apply spray and finish compounds responsibly. While booths mitigate many of the risks associated with the application of volatile or hazardous substances, they can only do this if operators maintain their system and keep it in full compliance with applicable regulations.
Almost every business in any industry is subject to safety and environmental regulations on local and national levels. Since booth operations generally present a higher risk of fire and hazardous exposure, owners are responsible for meeting several sets of minimum standards enforced by different official agencies. When facing differences between local and federal rules, companies are often required to meet the one with the stricter requirements.
National Regulations for Spray Booths
Spray booth operators should be mindful of current rules and upcoming regulatory changes of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Fire Code.
OSHA Safety Laws
OSHA is the primary federal agency that develops and enforces rules regarding employee safety in the workplace. Many aspects of their safety standards apply to spray booth operators, including numerous stipulations regarding availability of protective equipment and acceptable levels of substance exposure. OSHA standards cover almost every aspect of the working environment, including lighting levels, fire control systems and spacing of hazardous operations from other work areas.
Fire is always a risk when running a spray booth, which is why operators are subject to many of the regulations set forth by the NFPA. Section 33 of the NFPA code (NFPA 33) specifically addresses large-scale paint or spray processes conducted indoors, which is directly relevant to booths. Other sections of the NFPA address other related issues, including maintenance of fire safety equipment, appropriate sprinkler systems and employee evacuation plans.
Much like the NFPA standards, the International Fire Code (IFC) is an established code that addresses fire risks in the workplace. While these regulations are not used universally in the United States, dozens of state governments have adopted it for use in their jurisdiction.
Local and State Requirements
While many booth operators are keenly aware of the federal requirements relevant to their industry, meeting local and state requirements is just as important. Companies considering adding or replacing booths in their production process need to carefully research additional regulations that apply to their business. Common sources of local regulations include fire protection associations, environmental agencies and state or city building codes.
Pursue Full Compliance with Booth Experts
As experts in compliant spray booth design, Spray Systems routinely helps clients navigate local and federal regulatory requirements in their operations. Our experienced advisers educate clients and guide them towards the key details that help them make an informed decision.
Spray and finish booths are our specialty, so you can rely on us to assist you with any questions or advice on design and compliance. To us, achieving compliance isn't just about passing inspections, it's also an opportunity to create a safer environment for workers and deliver long-term value on critical investments for our clients.