Understanding Spray Booth Compliance in New Zealand: A Guide to Keeping Your Workplace Safe and Compliant

Industrial Spray Booth, Egmont Air New Zealand

In New Zealand, all spray painting operations, regardless of size, must adhere to stringent safety and compliance standards to prevent hazardous environments and ensure workplace safety. The AS/NZS4114 standard, which governs various types of spray booths—open face, enclosed, and designated spray-paint areas—is essential for maintaining these standards. At Egmont Air we find this is an area that causes concern for many of our customers. This blog explores the different types of spray booths and paint covered by AS/NZS4114, the hazards associated with spray painting, and the importance of compliance across various settings. By understanding these elements, businesses can better navigate the complexities of maintaining a safe and compliant spray painting operation.


AS/NZS4114  Safety Standard 

The AS/NZS4114  safety standard encompasses open face spray booths, enclosed spray booths, and designated spray area operations. It is vital for all operators to understand and comply with these regulations to maintain a safe working environment and avoid legal and health risks.

Open Face Spray Booths: These are the simplest form of spray booths and are typically used for smaller jobs. They consist of three walls and an open front, providing ventilation but and containment of paint overspray suited for medium quality paint-spraying applications such as agricultural machinery, parts, motors, industrial equipment and the like.

Enclosed Spray Booths: Offering a higher level of control over environmental conditions, enclosed booths are completely sealed with doors through which the operator and items to be painted enter and exit. This type ensures better containment of hazardous fumes and overspray and is the best solution where a high-quality paint finish is required such as in automotive or furniture spraying applications.

Designated Spray Paint Areas: These are specific areas in a workplace set aside for spray painting aircraft, trains, yachts, bridges, structures, and other large items that are not practicable for traditional spray-booth enclosures. They don’t necessarily have the physical containment features of traditional booths but should still be designed to control overspray and vapours effectively and have the necessary safety controls. 


Zone Classification And Spray Booths

Zone classification is a critical aspect of ensuring spray booth safety and compliance in New Zealand. According to AS/NZS4114, spray booths must be meticulously designed and documented to manage the risks associated with flammable vapours and volatile substances. Zones are classified based on the likelihood and duration of the presence of explosive atmospheres, which helps in determining the necessary safety measures. Zone 0 refers to areas where an explosive atmosphere is continuously present, Zone 1 covers areas where it is likely to occur in normal operation, and Zone 2 includes areas where it is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does, will persist for a short period only. Proper zone classification ensures that appropriate explosion-proof equipment is used, ventilation systems are adequate, and ignition sources are controlled, thereby significantly reducing the risk of fire and explosion in spray painting operations. Compliance with these classifications is not just a regulatory requirement but a crucial step towards safeguarding the health and safety of workers and the integrity of the workplace. If you are concerned that your worksite does not comply, then reach out to our team today, we’re happy to have a chat through the most appropriate solution for you.


Location Compliance Certification

In New Zealand, obtaining spray booth sign off, or Location Compliance Certification for your spray booth is an essential step to ensure that the installation meets all regulatory and safety standards. This certification process (generally carried out every 3-4 years)  involves a thorough inspection and assessment by qualified professionals to verify that the spray booth continues to adhere to the AS/NZS4114 standard and other relevant regulations. Key aspects evaluated include proper zoning, adequate ventilation, explosion-proof equipment, and overall design and operational safety. The certification not only confirms that the spray booth is safe for use but also helps businesses avoid potential legal issues and financial penalties associated with non-compliance. If you are unsure about your Location Compliance Certification legal obligations our team is happy to talk you through the steps to ensure you have all your bases covered. 


AS/NZS4114 Standard Applies To All Paint Types

At Egmont Air, we’ve often had customers say they don’t need to adhere to safety standards as they are using water-based paint. However this is not the case. The AS/NZS4114 standard applies to all paint types, including those that are water-based. This broad coverage is due to the presence of organic solvents in nearly all types of paints, which can create hazardous environments when atomized. The distinction is crucial because even seemingly less harmful water-soluble paints can pose significant risks under the right conditions.


Considerations For Hazardous Environments

Any painting activity lasting more than five minutes within any one-hour period is considered to create a hazardous environment. This classification stems from the fact that spray painting atomizes highly flammable and explosive volatiles into the air. The primary concerns in such scenarios are not only the respiratory and health safety of the workers but also the heightened risk of fire and explosion. In a typical spray booth environment, there is ample oxygen and flammable vapours; the only missing component for a disaster is an ignition source, which could easily be an electrical light, switch, static charge, battery, or an electrical fan. For this reason it’s important to explore solutions that ensure your spray painting set up is compliant. 


Choosing An Appropriately Designed Spray Booth

Choosing an appropriately designed spray booth, including the zoning and safety controls, are critical to mitigating safety risks. Compliant spray booths must be equipped with explosion-proof (ex-rated) motors and adequate ventilation systems to prevent the accumulation of flammable gases. At Egmont we have helped customers with varied scenarios ensure spray painting compliance, from school workshops to industrial painting operators. For schools we often find that a smaller spray booth set up such as a Mini Dry is beneficial, this type of solution is a stand alone unit (under a 1000mm squared) and doesn’t require building fixtures. Our Bake Ovens are an excellent solution for customers who are looking for a clean, dust free enclosure, and a bake cycle to create the perfect mirror paint finish.Our AHU Heating system is for quick dry rooms for jobs that require multiple paint-coats per day. For industrial sized operations other solutions include our Large Workshop Industrial Booth. This booth is designed for painting structures, pipes, large machinery and equipment and is suitable for high paint volumes, machinery handling, and other special applications.

Compliance with spray booth regulations in New Zealand is essential for maintaining a safe work environment and avoiding significant legal and health risks. A compliant and well-maintained spray booth isn’t just a regulatory requirement; it’s a cornerstone of workplace safety in New Zealand. Our team at Egmont Air have over 30 years of experience consulting on Spray Booth solutions, and are happy to have a chat about what will best work for your business. Give Richard, Cameron or Todd a call today.