Paint spray booths provide a controlled working area for the application of liquid and powder coating material to workpieces (cars, airplanes, furniture, machinery part, parts of consumer products etc.). Recently published EN 16985:2018 ‘Spray booths for organic coating material - Safety requirements’ provides clear requirements to ensure their safety. In this context, the standard deals with all significant hazards relevant to spray booths for the application of organic liquid and powder coating materials. Core aspects taken covered in the text are safety measures against hazardous substances which are dangerous to health or may cause fire and explosion.
EN 16985 supersedes three existing standards on spray booths, EN 12215, EN 12981 and EN 13355, and combines them into one single safety standard. The benefits of the resulting standard cover various dimensions: it not only simplifies the implementation of related measures, ensuring a safe working environment, but it also aims at achieving cost/energy efficiency (under limitation of safety requirements) and the reduction of environmental impact.
More specifically, the standard refines and clarifies the safety concepts for protection against hazardous substances used in the paint application process. For example, the standard now states unmistakably that, for spray booths for manual paint application, recirculation of air is not allowed when the operators are inside, which means that the air conditioned used to ventilate the booth – a necessary process to ensure the good application of the spray coating – needs to be sent to waste gas treatment. For this reason, and to ensure compliance to environmental legislation, beyond the requirements to make spray booths safe, EN 16985 also provides information on design and construction requirements to ensure that they are also environmentally-friendly. Furthermore, the concept for explosion protection has been updated to the state of research, leading to more practice-oriented requirements which allow a cost-efficient construction of safe spray booths.
EN 16985 was published by CEN/TC 271 ‘Surface treatment equipment – Safety’, whose Secretariat is held by DIN, the German National Standardization Body. The standard is a candidate to become a harmonised standard (hENs) in support of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
For more information, please contact Joanna Frankowska