Ingredients used in nail lacquering, hair dressing, electrolysis, tattooing and some other treatments can cause allergies and/or ill health to the recipient. It is the duty of all salons, nail bars and beauty therapists to comply with COSHH (the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 as amended) to protect workers health and safety. Keeping the workplace ventilated and using good hygiene techniques is a must. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be needed for some tasks and nail work will need an extractor hood or downdraught table. Hands should be washed frequently and spillages mopped up quickly. All equipment should be kept clean and washed after use. All products should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place and away from direct sunlight.
In nail bars, nuisance odors and dusts must be kept to a minimum. The dust generated from filing acrylic nails can cause asthma, headaches, dizziness and nausea. Dust from nail treatments in general can cause wheezing and chest tightness. Single use sterile instruments should be used wherever possible and work on the clients’ nails must be close to the ventilation hood. The use of dust masks are not an adequate control measure. Single use gloves must be used for handling nail products. Skin creams are good for the condition of the skin and can help against contamination. Barrier creams do not provide a full barrier against products and solvents. UV nails and acrylic liquid can cause dermatitis. A competent engineer must examine the ventilation system to ensure it is working correctly. An occupational health professional must be consulted if workers have sore throats, runny noses, breathing difficulties or skin problems that seem connected to the work. Chemical products should be stored correctly with the labels facing the outside. Heavier items and corrosive chemicals should be stored on lower shelves. Chemicals should never be stored in open containers. Hazardous waste should be disposed of through a specialist contractor.
Treatments such as electrolysis, ear piercing and tattooing are a risk due to contact with blood. Re-usable equipment that may become contaminated with blood should be sterilized. Needles, swabs and gloves must be put in a clinical waste disposal unit. Splash proof eye protection and disposable plastic aprons should be used. Contact with products can damage the eyes. It is advised to avoid using chloromethane (ethyl chloride) as a skin anesthetic; this can cause cancer. All equipment should be kept in efficient and effective working order. It is advised that workers have Hepatitis B jabs. Workers should not take work clothes home but should use a specialist laundry contractor. Sterilization procedures should be written down and procedures followed by trained staff.