car in body shop

Although vehicle spraying and painting are valuable services provided by auto body shops, these operations can also carry unique safety concerns. Considering such operations entail hazardous chemicals, it’s vital to have effective precautions in place to prevent inhalation risks and fire exposures.

As such, auto body shop owners should be sure to implement these safety procedures within vehicle spray booths:


  • Require all spraying and painting operations to be performed in an approved booth. This booth must be compliant with with NFPA 33 and should be bought from a qualified manufacturer.

  • Install an automatic fire protection system within the spray booth. Such a system should either be connected to the shop’s water supply or—if this supply is insufficient—serve as a standalone system.

  • Maintain the spray booth’s automatic fire protection system through routine inspections. Make sure
    the system’s sprinkler heads are protected from overspray concerns by covering them with a thin
    paper bag or a layer of cellophane (not plastic) that measures less than 0.007 centimetres thick.

  • Ensure all wiring and fixtures within the spray
    booth (e.g., lighting) are explosion-proof to eliminate
    potential sources of ignition.

  • Implement an effective ventilation system in the spray booth. Be sure that this system is correctly installed and constantly running throughout spraying or painting operations to remove flammable vapours.

  • Have spray booth filters changed out and safely disposed of on a routine basis. Keep in mind that used filters can self-combust if they aren’t stored or removed appropriately.

  • Uphold adequate housekeeping practices within the spray booth. Avoid letting any materials or trash accumulate and create fire hazards.

  • Check that all painting services are in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.




Find Out More:

In addition to these risks, auto repair and maintenance shop employees can face other unique risks. This list is not exhaustive, and assessing your company’s exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business.

Download our “Auto Body Shop Employee Safety Manual” guide for an in-depth list of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management and protect your employees: