“The local OSHA representative (who admits he is not fully versed on powder coating) insists that our powder coating booth (batch system with hand held gun) have an automated fire suppression system (i. e. sprinklers) on the front and back of filters. Does anyone know if this is accurate as it would appear to put the gun operator in harms way? “
“Fire suppression systems are normally required by your Fire Marshall authority and your insurance company. However, OSHA can suggest safety equipment also. A liquid paint system can have two sets of sprinklers (in booth and after the filters). However, powder coating systems normally have sprinklers in the booth only. The guidelines listed in NFPA #33 (National Fire Protection Association) are the recommendations employed by most governing agencies. However, local authorities can stipulate anything they want.
NFPA #33 states that the “spray area” must have an approved fire suppression system consisting of dry chemical, water sprinkler, etc. The “spray area” has often been interpreted to mean the spray booth, although the room containing the spray booth has also been considered the “spray area”. You must comply with your local authority. Finally, sprinklers will not hurt the operator or the equipment. If they go off, you may have to buy new filters for the booth. “