Maintaining a high standard of hygiene is essential, not only from a health and safety perspective, but clients will not return if the salon, treatment area or equipment is not clean.
It is a legal requirement for employers to display an approved health and safety poster or to supply employees with an equivalent leaflet or information. It is recommended that you get copies of the following from your local council:
● Health and Safety in the Workplace
● Trade Descriptions Act
● Data Protection Act
● Sales of Goods Act
● COSSH Regulations and Risk Assessment (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
● Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982
● The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992
● The Workplace Regulations 1992
● The Manual Handling Regulations 1992
● The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
● The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 ● The Electricity at Work Regulations 1992
● Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
● RIDDOR – The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
● Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997
● Consumer Protection Act 1987.
All businesses are required by law to comply with the following health and safety acts, which are monitored and managed by The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) www.hse.gov.uk
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This protects your rights either as an employer or employee. The law states that the employer must provide a safe working environment, provide health and safety training for staff, produce a written policy of the company’s health and safety policy, and ensure that anyone on their premises is not exposed to any health or safety risks.
Trade Descriptions Act 1972
This act is particularly relevant to therapists as it relates to how the goods or services are described in any kind of advertising or promotional material. The act makes it illegal to mislead the public in any way or make any false claims about what you are able to do.
Data Protection Act 1984
This is only relevant if you are storing information about your clients on a computer. If so, you must register your business on the Data Protection register.
Sale of Goods Act 1994
This act protects your clients’ rights by insisting that any goods or services sold must be of a satisfactory standard, be suitable for the purpose described, accurately described, and provided in a reasonable time and for a reasonable price.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Act (COSHH) 1989 This act provides guidance on dealing with chemical substances that could enter the body and cause skin irritations, allergies, burns etc.
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982
The local authority is responsible for registering and licensing any businesses where invasive treatments, i.e. body piercing, epilation, acupuncture take place on the premises. This is to ensure that all equipment is sterilised, only fully qualified therapists are carrying out the treatments, waste products (especially needles) are disposed of correctly.
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 This act outlines the responsibilities of the owner/manager of the business to protect the well-being of all who visit the premises, to keep a record of all checks they have made and also of any first aid treatments carried out on their premises.
The Workplace Regulations 1992
These regulations govern the appearance of all parts of the workplace, not just the treatment rooms. This would include suitable toilet facilities which are kept clean and tidy with adequate soap, towels, hot & cold running water etc. Proper ventilation, the areas are well lit, the area is at a comfortable temperature, is clear of all waste material (keep the walkways clear of clutter), has up to date fire fighting equipment, and has drinking water available.
The Manual Handling Regulations 1992
This relates to the appropriate posture when lifting to reduce the risk of injury and to safely carry out manual tasks required in the workplace.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 This act requires you to provide the correct safety/protective equipment to carry out a particular task.
The Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 These regulations are relevant to anyone using a computer and require you to get regular eye tests, take regular breaks, and use the correct height adjusted chair.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1992
This governs the use of electrical equipment in the workplace and ensures that any equipment is checked at least once a year by a qualified electrician. Any faulty equipment is removed from service, and written records are kept should an inspector wish to see them.
Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
No matter how small your business is there must be first aid treatment available should an injury take place.
RIDDOR – The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
This outlines the correct procedure to adopt if a workplace accident occurs. An accident book is a must.
Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997
This ensures that the safety of all those present is considered and planned for should a fire take place.
Consumer Protection Act 1987
This is designed to look after your clients’ interests and protect them from any product deemed unsafe.
What are blood borne pathogens?
Blood borne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Needlesticks
and other sharps-related injuries may expose workers to blood borne pathogens. Workers in many occupations, including first responders, housekeeping personnel in some industries, nurses and other healthcare personnel, all may be at risk for exposure to blood borne pathogens.
What can be done to control exposure to blood borne pathogens?
In order to reduce or eliminate the hazards of occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens, an employer must implement an exposure control plan for the worksite with details on employee protection measures. The plan must also describe how an
employer will use engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, employee training, medical surveillance, hepatitis B vaccinations, . Engineering controls are the primary means of eliminating or minimising employee exposure and include the use of safer medical devices, such as needleless devices, shielded needle devices, and plastic capillary tubes.
Needlestick and Sharps Injury Prevention.
● Safe handling of needles and other sharp devices are components of standard precautions that are implemented to prevent health care workers exposure to blood borne pathogens.
The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act mandates the use of sharps with engineered safety devices when suitable devices exist.
● Used needles should be discarded immediately after use and not recapped, bent, cut, removed from the syringe or tube holder, or otherwise manipulated.
● Any used needles, lancets, or other contaminated sharps should be placed in a leak-proof, puncture-resistant sharps container that is labelled with a biohazard label.
● Do not overfill sharps containers.
● Discard after 2/3 full or when contents are at the full line indicated on the containers.
● Used sharps containers may be taken to a collection facility such as an area pharmacy, hospital, or outsourced company that provides this service
Sharp items should be disposed of in containers that are puncture resistant, leak-proof, closable, and labelled with the biohazard symbol or are red in colour. Sharps containers should be replaced when filled up to the indicated full line. Items generated by local public health agencies that should be discarded into sharps containers include contaminated items that may easily cause cuts or punctures in the skin (used needles, lancets, broken glass or rigid plastic vials) and unused needles and lancets that are being discarded. Syringes or blood collection tube holders attached to needles must also be discarded still attached to the needles.
● Non-sharp disposable items saturated with blood or body fluids (i.e., fluid can be poured or squeezed from the item or fluid is flaking or dripping from the item) should be discarded into biohazard bags that are puncture-resistant, leak-proof, and labelled with a biohazard symbol or red in colour. Such items may include used PPE and disposable rags or cloths.
A local public health agency that generates infectious waste is required to maintain a log of waste that is transported from the agency, regardless of the amount or how it is transported. The log must contain the following information: date of disposal, location to which waste is transported, name of person transporting the waste, and the amount and type of waste transported (e.g., three sharps containers or five biohazard bags). Care must be taken to contain the waste during transport, keep waste separate from clean items in the transport vehicle, and to clean and disinfect areas of the vehicle containing infectious waste before hauling clean items and materials.
Safe Injection Practices
● Use of a new needle and syringe every time a medication vial is accessed
● Use of a new needle and syringe with each injection of a client
● Using medication vials for one client only, whenever possible
● Safe injection practices packet
Hand washing is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection.
Hand decontamination has a dual role to protect both the patient and the practitioner from acquiring microorganisms (germs) which may cause them harm. Hands may look clean but invisible micro-organisms are always present, some harmful, some not. Removal of microorganisms is the most important factor in preventing them from being transferred to other people.