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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 20. Flammable Liquids, Gases and Vapors
Article 137. Spray Coating Operations

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§5454. Fixed Electrostatic Apparatus.

(a) This Section shall apply to any equipment using electrostatically charged elements for the atomization, charging and (or) precipitation of hazardous materials for coatings on articles or for other similar purposes in which the charging or atomizing device is attached to a mechanical support and is not hand-held or manipulated.

(b) Electrostatic apparatus and devices used in connection with coating operations shall be of approved types.

(c) Transformers, high voltage supply, control apparatus, and all other electrical portions of the equipment, with the exception of high voltage grids, electrodes and electrostatic atomizing heads and their connections, shall be located outside of the spraying area or shall otherwise conform to the requirements of Section 5449.

(d) Electrodes and electrostatic atomizing heads shall be supported in permanent locations and shall be insulated from ground. Electrodes and electrostatic atomizing heads which are permanently attached to their bases, supports, or reciprocators, shall be deemed to comply with this Section. Insulators shall be nonporous. Fine wire elements when used shall be under tension at all times and be of unkinked hardened steel or material of comparable strength.

(e) High voltage leads shall be properly insulated and protected from mechanical injury or exposure to destructive chemicals. Any exposed element at high voltage shall be effectively guarded against accidental contact or grounding. An automatic means shall be provided for grounding the electrode system when the primary of its high voltage supply is electrically deenergized for any reason.

(f) All insulators shall be kept clean and dry.

(g) A safe distance shall be maintained between goods being painted and electrodes or electrostatic atomizing heads or conductors of at least twice the sparking distance. A suitable sign indicating this safe distance shall be conspicuously posted near the assembly.

(h) Goods being coated using this process shall be supported on conveyors or hangers. The conveyors or hangers shall be so arranged as to assure that the parts being coated are electrically connected to ground and to maintain safe distances between the goods and the electrodes or electrostatic atomizing heads at all times. Goods shall be supported to prevent swinging or movement which would reduce the clearance to less than that specified in (h).

(i) Electrostatic apparatus shall be equipped with automatic means which will rapidly de-energize and ground the high voltage elements under any of the following conditions:

(1) Stoppage of ventilating fans or failure of ventilating equipment from any cause.

(2) Stoppage of the conveyor carrying goods through the high voltage field.

(3) Occurrence of a ground or excessive current leakage at any point on the high voltage system.

(4) Reduction of clearance below that specified in (g).

(5) De-energizing the primary of the power supply.

(j) Safeguards such as booths, fencing, railings or other means shall be so placed about the equipment or incorporated therein that they, either by their location or character or both, assure that a safe isolation of the process is maintained from plant storage or personnel. Mechanical guards shall be at least 5 feet from processing equipment.

(k) All electrically conductive objects in the spraying area, except those objects required by the process to be at high voltage, shall be adequately grounded. This requirement shall apply to paint containers, wash cans, guards and any other electrically conductive objects or devices in the area. The equipment shall carry a prominent permanently installed warning regarding the necessity for this grounding feature.

(l) All areas used for spraying, including the interior of the booth, shall be protected by automatic sprinklers where this protection is available. Where this protection is not available, other approved automatic extinguishing equipment shall be provided.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment of subsection (d) filed 3-2-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 10).

2. Amendment filed 7-16-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 29).

3. Amendment filed 12-5-86; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 86, No. 51).

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