Are you new to paint booths? Adding an GFS paint booth to your workshop is a great way to attract customers, boost productivity, and ensure that you always finish the job with a level of excellence that sets you apart from body shops and collision repair centers.
With that said, part of successfully operating a paint booth is knowing how to care for it. Handling paint, keeping the workspace safe and clean, and preventing dirt and debris from entering your booth are all part essential for ensuring that your finished product consistently excellent. For this reason, it’s important that you know how to maintain your paint booth and accessories.
Keeping Your Workspace Safe and Tidy
Working with paints means that you’re constantly exposed to hazardous material that’s both flammable and dangerous for your health – especially if you’re a paint booth operator who hasn’t switched from solvents to waterborne paints yet.
One way to ensure that your work area is safe and free of dangerous fumes and vapors is by adding an GFS Mix paint mixing room. These rooms ensure that your paints don’t become contaminated by outside sources, as well as protecting you and your employees from unnecessary exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Furthermore, another benefit of adding a mixing room to your setup is convenience. Mixing rooms can be modified to fit virtually any space on your floorplan, and can even be integrated into your actual booth. The advantage of choosing an GFS mixing booth is that you don’t have to worry about cluttering your workspace, which helps to boost safety and productivity.
The Importance of Workplace Safety
One must take safety precautions when working with paint booths, as a faulty booth or careless employee could end up causing a lot of damage to property while also exposing themselves and their colleagues to harmful chemicals. For this reason, paint mixing rooms have been a popular choice among high-volume workshops as a means of promoting better occupational safety and ensuring their company meets all local, state, and federal regulations.
If you’re new to paint booths, here are some things to consider before operating your first spray booth:
- Paint mixing rooms provide a safe storage and mixing of paints. This is because mixing rooms are well ventilated to prevent flammable fumes from building up and protecting employees from toxic chemicals.
- Keep all flammable liquids including paint away from sources of heat, even when the liquids are stored in the mixing room. No more than 120 gallons should be stored within six feet of spraying areas because of the heating devices used inside paint booths.
- Paint booth regulations are determined by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) codes, the EPA, OSHA, and laws on the municipal and local levels.
Remember, it’s important that you always adhere to paint booth rules and regulations. They’re designed to maximize occupational safety and reduce the chances of harmful chemicals contaminating the workspace.
Why It’s Smart to Have a Mixing Room
There’s a reason that most large companies require their shops to have an on-site mixing room. They’re safe, effective, and help keep the workshop clean and free of clutter. After all, nobody wants to work in a space that’s littered with equipment that could be easily organized in a mixing room.
If you’re thinking about skipping out on a mixing room, you might want to reconsider that thought. Not only can an on-site mixing room help increase your productivity and efficiency, it will also greatly reduce the chances of you and your co-workers becoming sick from overexposure to dangerous chemicals.
Here are some reasons why you should limit your exposure to toxic paints:
- Excessive exposure to paint fumes can cause a lot of respiratory problems, including asthma and even lung cancer. Since paint mixing rooms tend to be the part of the workshop with the most concentrated fumes and vapors, it’s essential that ventilation is running at maximum efficiency at all times.
- Paint booth operators generally wear proper safety equipment like gloves, breathing apparatuses, and goggles. However, people often forget to use this equipment when working in mixing rooms, and this places them in direct contact with carcinogens.
- Because of the toxicity of paint fumes, you don’t want to work in a paint booth that has a baseline exhaust system. You need to be working in a space that has the same type of air filtration system as spray booths – one that pushes clean air in and sucks contaminated air out.
Along with safety equipment, the most important safety precaution is ventilation. In order to protect your health and the health of your co-workers, you must be working in a well-ventilated space. However, good ventilation isn’t only determined by the quality and power of your exhaust system, it’s also determined by the setup of your mixing room. If you’re working in a paint mixing room that isn’t optimized for airflow, your exhaust system may be mixing toxic air with clean air instead of extracting dangerous fumes and vapors. This places you and your workers at risk for immediate sickness and long-term damage.
Ways to Increase Safety on the Job
Now that you know a little bit about the hazards of working around toxic paints, it’s time to cover some safety tips that can ensure the safety of you and your coworkers. Booth operators and paint mixers alike should be careful to follow all safety protocols when working around hazardous chemicals.
- Don’t forget the safety equipment – Never trick yourself into believing that only spray booth operators need to wear protective gear. Just because you’re not coming in direct contact with paint as frequently as you would in the spray booth doesn’t mean that the chemicals aren’t putting your health at risk. Remember, industrial paints have been linked to different types of cancers, but that can be prevented by wearing protective gloves, a respirator, and full-body clothing.
- Keep your workspace tidy at all times – You may not think that it’s a big deal, but working in a dirty mixing booth actually increases your chances of being exposed to harmful chemicals. Rags, paint cans, and other material that has come in contact with paints will release dangerous fumes and vapors that can cause just as much damage as being directly exposed to paint.
- Don’t rely only on one exhaust system – Clean air is important, especially in confined quarters like a mixing room where fumes can quickly build up and become overpowering. For this reason, it’s important to use only the best exhaust systems to ensure that all fumes are carefully extracted and not allowed to seep out into the primary workspace.
- Don’t build your own mixing room – A lot of knowledge and expertise goes into installing paint booths and building mixing rooms. Don’t assume that you know how to build a mixing room that’s properly ventilated and up to code just because you have basic construction knowledge. Instead, buy a pre-fab booth like the ones sold by GFS and let a certified expert with years of experience install it for you.
Your Safety Is Paramount
Now that you know a little bit more about paint mixing rooms, are you still wondering if it’s important to have one added to your setup? Many body shop owners think that they don’t need a mixing room because they don’t service a high-volume of items needed to be painted. While it’s true that having a mixing room for a busy company that specializes in painting is absolutely essential, small-time companies should carefully consider adding a mixing room too.
Keeping a mixing room on site is important for improving the safety of the workspace as a whole. No matter how minuscule it is, exposure to any escaping paint fumes is enough to put anyone’s health at risk. Fortunately, paint mixing rooms mitigate that while also providing a storage space that helps keep the workshop tidy. Also, since mixing rooms are expected to be ventilated at all times, no matter what, you don’t have to worry about being exposed to leaking fumes during times when the room isn’t being used.
Don’t Jeopardize Your Health – Add a Paint Mixing Room
GFS is committed to providing quality paint booth product that promotes workplace safety and better health practices. They have paint booth options that can be modified to accommodate the needs of any industry. Regardless of what your floor plans or, how unique your needs may be, there is a paint mixing room setup that enables you to wash equipment and work with paints without exposing you and your coworkers to dangerous chemicals.
Don’t put your health at risk for minimal savings. Get a paint mixing room and increase your productivity over the long run while also protecting your health and the health of your colleagues.
GFS is one of the industry’s leaders of paint booth technology. If you’re interested in adding a paint booth or mixing room to help improve efficiency and safety in the workplace, give one of their representatives a call to get started.