For obvious reasons, hair and beauty salon owners across the UK must ensure that their staff and customers’ health and safety are not at risk – they are, in fact, legally obligated to do this. From slipping on a recently mopped tiled floor, to an electrical issue causing an entire premises to go up in flames, a salon environment can be fraught with innumerable potential hazards.
The good news is that owners of salons large and small can easily access Occupational Health and Safety Training, to protect both staff and customers, and to ensure that their H&S record (and therefore their business reputation) always ‘looks good’!
Slips and trips
Keeping floors hazard free is always a tricky one, as if a drink is accidentally knocked over the liquid needs to be immediately mopped up, which means the floor will still be slippery for a certain a period of time. In accordance with regulations, wet floor signs need to be available and in sight for even the smallest spillage, as you can never be too careful. The consequences of a salon worker slipping suddenly on a wet floor while holding a potentially lethal piece of electrical equipment, or even something as simple as a pair of scissors or a manual razor, simply doesn’t bear thinking about, does it.
As well as potential slips and slides across a slick floor in an environment where some equipment could actually prove deadly, stray cables and leads also pose a threat, of course.
Cleanliness of brushes
Hair brushes and make up brushes need to be cleaned properly before using on different clients. It is extremely unhygienic to use the same brushes all day.
Posture, seat heights
Posture of the staff is also important. Back problems can affect you later in life and it is a big problem in the workplace. Seats need to be adjusted properly for clients too, of course, even if they’re only in the salon for a short period of time.
People’s skin can react to many treatments; hair removal especially.
Waxing is a popular way of controlling superfluous hair, but skin can be easily left torn or scratched if the wax is not heated to the right temperature, which can leave customers feeling sore and uncomfortable.
Whether from sun-bed use or through applying a spray, tanning treatments can also sometimes cause problems. A sun-bed laser can burn the skin in a similar way to sun exposure, with the intensity of the UV rays generated by some beds being up to ten times stronger than the midday sun in the Med. If uncontrolled, this may increase the risk of skin cancer, when damage to the DNA over time causes cells to start behaving erratically, growing out of control and potentially leading to the development of melanoma.
For this reason, more and more people are opting instead for spray tanning, which is particularly popular among Britain’s teenagers. But even some spray tan mixes can trigger skin problems and cause allergic reactions that could detrimentally affect the endocrine system. Best to do your research and get advice before purchasing a particular brand.
When it all goes wrong
Nowadays it’s not uncommon for clients to seek compensation from salons when treatments go badly wrong. In 2011 a woman from Nottingham received £55,250 in an out of court settlement after a hair bleaching treatment she received from an uninsured trainee led to not only an unexpectedly bad hair day but a painful burning scalp, with such severely damaged hair that it began falling out in clumps.
Thankfully, disasters like this don’t happen every day but, if you’re a salon owner, it makes sense to ensure they never happen to you as the consequences could be costly, not only financially but in terms of reputation too.
H&S Training: the best protection!
Whichever beauty treatment is being provided, then, it’s essential to have insured, properly trained and focused employees who are skilled and experienced in using an array of equipment and products safely. Investing in industry-specific H&S training is a quick, affordable and highly effective way to do this and to ensure peace of mind all round.