Healthcare workers are often affected by needlestick injuries, however other occupations are also affected. Protectus have prepared with support from local Tattooist companies a training course, specifically aimed at dealing with the Health, Safety and Environmental issues faced by professional tattoo artists and body piercing artists. Needlestick injuries may also affect carers and children picking up used needles.
- For more details about our courses either contact us or follow the link:
- If you prefer the self training method, then we have developed a specialist training pack available for instant download:
Our training material is certificated, so that you can demonstrate to your clients that you are competent and taking their care seriously.
Blood borne pathogens
The major blood-borne pathogens of concern associated with needlestick injury are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV. However, other infectious agents also have the potential for transmission through needlestick injury, including:
- Human T-lymphotropic retroviruses I (HTLV-I) and II (HTLV-II).
- Hepatitis D virus (HDV – or delta agent) which is activated in the presence of HBV.
- GB virus C (GBV-C) – formerly known as hepatitis G virus (HGV).
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
- Parvovirus B19.
- Transfusion-transmitted virus (TTV).
- West Nile virus (WNV).
- Malarial parasites.
- Prion agents such as those associated with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).
Between 2002 and 2011, 4,381 significant occupational exposures were reported (increasing from 276 in 2002 to 541 in 2011).
72 significant occupational exposures reported between 2002 and 2011 involved ancillary staff. The majority of these exposures were due to non-compliance with standard infection control precautions for the handling and safe disposal of clinical waste.
Source: Health Protection Agency (HPA) report regarding healthcare workers, released in 2012.
The Health and Safety executive have provided a detailed COSHH bulletin SR12, this document provides essential reading and is relevant to the industry.
The Protectus Training course and self help pack provides information that helps employers (including the self-employed and franchisees) comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). Demonstrate compliance to other relevant health and safety legislation and provide a safe working environment that minimises the risk of exposure.
We have compiled a short summary of the Health and Safety Considerations for Tattooists, attend our training and ensure compliance to all applicable law.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.
A person must be 18 years of age before they can have a tattoo. This is a statutory requirement, with criminal penalties on conviction.
The keeping of records protects both the client and the tattooist and therefore the following details should be included in client records:
- Date of the procedure;
- Client’s name, address and telephone number;
- Full details of the procedure;
- A record of the type of the procedure
- Medical history.
When assessing medical history, as a minimum a health declaration form should ask for information and history. Please discuss with us what types of forms can be used, we are here to help and can provide email guidance on some matters free of charge. Please get in touch if you have a question.
Check and know the history before any procedure.
- heart disease.
- pregnancy/breast feeding.
- blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C.
- low and high blood pressure, epilepsy, diabetes, impetigo etc.
- skin conditions such as eczema, warts and psoriasis.
- allergic responses to latex, anaesthetics and adhesive plasters.
- Conditions that compromise the immune system.
- Heart disease/pacemaker.
What should be considered before performing a procedure
- The tattooist should discuss client’s medical history.
- Where a condition exists, or there be past history, written authorisation from the client’s doctor should be required before tattooing takes place.
- The tattooist should record the clients’ response to health history on the client’s record card and consent forms.
- Remember also that Data Protection legislation applies.
Essential equipment to conduct hygienic procedures
- Alcohol impregnated swabs (pre packed) for skin preparation.
- Disinfectants, disposable caps or trays for pigments.
- Disposable latex, vinyl or nitrile gloves may be worn, but must be discarded after each client (they must be disposed of as clinical waste).
- Disposable razor, kidney dish (autoclavable container for needles), paper tissues and paper towels, sharps container.
- Spray bottle containing fresh skin preparation antiseptic.
After care advice
- It is best practice to give out written after care advice as clients are often nervous or excited about their new tattoo and may not take in verbal advice.
- Basically the treated area must be covered with a lint free sterile gauze which is taped to the skin with micropore tape – this permits ventilation of the damaged skin surface, helping the healing process.
- The new tattoo should be kept dry to prevent the onset of infection.
Other things to consider
- The practitioner or the client should be under the adverse influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances.
- Tattooing should be undertaken in conditions of appropriate privacy.
- Eating, drinking and smoking should not be permitted in the studio.
- Tattoo machines (motors and frames) cannot be sterilised and should be carefully damp wiped between clients with 70% alcohol.
- Because needles are repeatedly dipped into pigments during tattooing, it is important that fresh pigments are used for each customer.
- Pigment capsules should be firmly placed in holders while in use, to avoid the possibility of spillage. These should be made of autoclavable material e.g. stainless steel and should be cleaned and disinfected between clients and sterilised between sessions.
Finding a competent practitioner
Tattooists should be registered to operate with the local authority and should display their registration certificate. If the practitioner intends to perform your tattoo without asking for your medical history or personal details such as name and address, this indicates bad practice.
Ask your practitioner for Health, Safety and Neddlestick awareness training and certification.
The work that Protectus have completed with Tattooists in the UK, we can assure you the profession is very serious about Health, Safety and the care of customers.