Paint Spray Booth Regulations UK | Ultrimax | UK

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Paint Spray Booth Regulations UK (and How to Comply)

Adhering to paint spray booth regulations (UK) is more than just a tick-box exercise. It protects your workforce and the environment; it helps maintain production line efficiency and paint finish quality; it can even help prevent your spray shop from going up in flames.

So it’s undoubtedly in your company’s interest to keep on top of spray booth regulatory requirements and ensure that you comply with them. This short guide aims to make the task an easy process. It covers:

  • Current UK legislative requirements relating to spray booth testing
  • How to adhere to legislative requirements
  • Sources of support and information
  • Answers to frequently asked questions.


The legislative testing requirements for paint booths

In the UK, all businesses that operate a paint booth must maintain, examine, and test specific components of the booth as well as the sprayers’ respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in line with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 – Regulation 9.

Maintenance checks

The following maintenance checks should be carried out to ensure that all booth equipment is in good working order:

  • Check air lines for supplied-air breathing apparatus
  • At least once a week, check that airflow indicators are working correctly
  • At least once a month, check that gun cleaning equipment is working correctly.

All maintenance checks should be performed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions and recorded in your booth’s testing logbook.


Examination and testing

Regulation 9 of COSHH stipulates that a spray booth’s LEV system must be rigorously checked and tested, as must your sprayers’ respiratory protection equipment (RPE).

Having a good robust air quality testing programme is essential for protecting workers’ health and for maintaining the highest quality paint finishes. Poor booth ventilation and air quality result in pollutants and contaminants entering your workspace and settling on your wet finish, compromising every piece that you spray.

LEV checks and testing

  1. Conduct in-house checks to make sure the LEV system is in good working order.
  2. Conduct a scheduled booth maintenance programme that includes LEV servicing by qualified engineers.
  3. Arrange for a competent ventilation engineer to perform a statutory ‘thorough examination and testing’ (TExT) of extraction systems at least every 14 months (see HSE publication HSG258).
  4. Ensure that all actions arising from the TExT are carried out in a timely manner.

RPE checks and testing

  1. Examine and test RPE thoroughly at least monthly (or three-monthly for infrequently used RPE). Replace worn parts.
  2. Check the airflow and air quality to air-fed RPE (breathing air quality tests) at least once every three months, or before use. Also check in-line filters.
  3. Ensure that breathable air compressors take in clean air.

Your servicing engineer will usually be able to conduct breathing air quality tests alongside your spray booth service or more frequently if required. They will supply you with a Breathing Air Quality Certificate that adheres to BS EN12021 standards at the end of each test.

Mist clearance testing (only if spraying isocyanate-based products)

It can take 20 minutes or more for isocyanates to fully clear from the booth after spraying. To maintain safe working practices, the HSE recommends that you include a clearance time smoke test in your 14-month TExT. More frequent testing may be necessary. The test is carried out by a qualified engineer who will fill the paint booth with smoke and accurately measure how long it takes to extract it.

A mist clearance testing protocol involves the following:

●Check clearance times a minimum of every 14 months.

●Clearly display the clearance time on the booth.

●Instruct sprayers not to remove their airline breathing apparatus during the clearance time.

Keep records of all examinations and tests for at least five years.

Sources of support and guidance

The Ultrimax Total Paint Shop Support team are qualified engineers who can provide the following support and services to help you comply with UK paint spray booth regulations:

●Telephone advice

●On-site surveys and risk assessments

●LEV servicing

●Thorough examination and testing (TExT)

●Breathing air quality testing

●Face-fit testing


You may also find the following resource useful:

Spray Booth Products and Services

Top 6 Spray Booth Design Considerations

Best Practice for Spray Booth Maintenance

Paint Spray Booth Design

Using the Correct Spray Booth Filters

Why is Face-Fit Testing So Important?

Call us on +44(0)1302 856666 to organise a support visit or ask us any technical or compliance-related questions.



What is required in a spray booth?

In the UK, spray booths have to comply with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 – Regulation 9. This requires that you must maintain, examine and test your spray booth and sprayers’ respiratory protection equipment (RPE) according to an Health and safety Executive (HSE) complaint risk assessment.

Do you need planning permission for a spray booth?

Yes. Planning permission is required for all types of commercial paint spray booth. The plant must also comply with current legislation to ensure the health and safety of your workforce under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 – Regulation 9.

Do I need a respirator in a paint booth?

Yes. Employers must provide sprayers with and train them to use suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) for use in a paint spray booth environment. This is because paint fumes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be easily inhaled, causing short- and long-term health problems. a painter through inhalation or even skin absorption. Some paints also contain isocyanates, which require further respiratory protection controls.

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