Whether we are offering advice for spray booth operators or our engineers are testing equipment themselves, health and safety remains at the forefront of everything we do – not only for those operating machinery but for anyone who enters the workshop.
Considering that vigilance with regulation is our speciality, the introduction of COVID-19 safety laws in workshops is no challenge, but something we must add to our list of priority actions. Read on to find the latest COVID-19 workplace rules and information surrounding spray booth regulations in the UK, and learn precisely how to adhere to them.
COSHH Regulation 9 Guidance
Vehicle bodyshop owners must adhere to the COSHH Regulation 9 guidance, which stipulates that they are required to control the risks and exposure to harmful substances. Owners must ensure relevant spray booth laws are followed and equipment is used safely by machine operators to ensure the safety of employees, visitors and any person who has access to the spray booths – as well as paint mixing rooms and use of other equipment such as dust extraction systems and weld fume arms. Spray booth testing is based on Process Guidance note PG6/34(b), which defines how it should be carried out and the levels and types of filtration systems to be used.
How to know if your spray booth is up to code
There are numerous ways that spray booth manufacturers ensure your spray booth is up to code and that is complies with all spray booth regulations in the UK. Without the following, your spray booth will not be up to regulatory standards.
- Your spray booths need to be constructed of steel, concrete or masonry. They should also be rigidly supported.
- The interior surface of your spray booth should be smooth and non-combustible.
- Any sprinkler systems, visible gauges and alarms in your spray booth should be properly and professionally installed.
- Your spray booth should be designed to sweep air currents towards the exhaust outlet.
- There should be a clear space of at least 3 feet on all sides and above your spray booth.
- There should be clear signs prohibiting smoking, flames and sparks displayed somewhere within 20 feet of your spray booth.
- Any electrical equipment should be properly and professionally rated for use in flammable environments.
- Any portable lamps should be removed from the spraying area or, where possible, enclosed safely.
- Any metal elements of your spray booth (e.g exhaust ducts or piping) must be electrically grounded in a permanent fashion and to professional standards.
- Your spray booth should be sufficiently ventilated during and after all operations to ensure vapours and other potentially harmful chemicals have evaporated.
- Each ventilation unit within your spray booth should have an independent exhaust unit.
- Fans in your spray booth should be made of nonferrous or non-sparking material.
- Any unprotected combustible materials should be at least 18 inches away from any exhaust ducts.
With regard to the above, these measurements are taken care of not only by your spray booth manufacturer (providing they’re a trusted and approved manufacturer), but also by our engineers. During a service, we take rigorous steps to ensure the above guidelines are being followed.
HSE legislation based risk assessments
All of AGM Services’ spray booth maintenance and repair services are compliant with Health and Safety England’s legislation and are carried out by highly skilled and qualified spray booth engineers. Our engineers perform expert testing per EPA, COSHH PAS125 Kitemark and manufacturer & insurer audit requirements. These engineers undertake regular training and assessments to guarantee they are well versed with current legislation, guidelines and best practice across all types of spray booth testing
Spray booth legislative testing
Mist clearance testing
Mist clearance tests are carried out annually. They provide a clear indication of the time taken for isocyanate particles to be cleared from the spraybooth. It’s essential to know the exact amount of time it takes to clear the booth as it’s unsafe for someone to enter without the appropriate PPE. To conduct this test, the spray booth engineer fills the spray booth with smoke and accurately measures how long it takes to extract it.
Local Exhaust Ventilation testing
Another test which AGM Services provides is Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) tests, which are performed on various workshop equipment such as:
- Spray booth ovens
- Dust extraction systems
- Paint mixing rooms
- Gun cleaning rooms
- Weld fume extraction arms
- Ventilated preparation benches
- Exhaust extraction systems
LEVs reduce exposure to airborne contaminants like dust, mist, fume, vapour or gas in a workplace, to ensure your spray booth is not only safe but functional.
Breathing Air Quality testing
Every AGM engineer is equipped with the latest Factair Breathing Air Quality testing machine. Breathing Air Quality testing is something which demands much more regular testing at a maximum interval time of three months for all respiratory protective equipment.
Covid-19 Workplace Safety
As many bodyshops are now open and fully operational, it is vital to be aware of all coronavirus laws and regulations that concern workers in factories, plants and warehouses. The UK government has stipulated seven essential workplace safety rules to follow:
- 1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment
- 2. Increase how often surfaces are cleaned and encourage use of hand sanitiser
- 3. Encourage all visitors to wear face coverings
- 4. Ensure that all employees are socially distancing (including one-way walk routes)
- 5. Increase ventilation use and open doors and windows (if possible)
- 6. Track and Trace – keep a record of all employees and visitors for 21 days
- 7. Turn employees or visitors with coronavirus symptoms away (legally enforced)
Other Additional high priority Covid-19 guidance includes:
- Only use personal protective equipment (PPE) where appropriate
- Work with the same team every day
- Arrange workspaces to keep staff apart
- Keep music and other background noise to a minimum
Consult with more specific government guidance based on your workplace to ensure that your operations are complicit and safe enough for all workers.