What are the health and safety rules in hairdressing and cosmetics establishments?
Conducting service activities in the field of hairdressing and cosmetics is associated with the adaptation of the premises and workplaces to the relevant regulations related to occupational health and safety.
A cosmetic and hairdressing establishment should organize workplaces in accordance with health and safety regulations and in accordance with the principles of ergonomics, so that it does not adversely affect the health of the employee.
First of all, this type of plant, for hygienic and sanitary reasons, as well as related to applicable law, should meet technical, construction and other requirements specified for workplaces, in particular:
- it should have effective ventilation and daylight lighting (in exceptional cases, it is possible to obtain the consent of the provincial sanitary inspector to illuminate the rooms only with artificial light);
- in addition to the room where the treatments are performed, the plant should have a separate cloakroom, waiting room, hygienic and sanitary room, rooms for storing equipment and places for storing clean and dirty clothes / towels.
The most serious risks in hairdressing and cosmetics establishments are undoubtedly chemical hazards. Chemicals used during hairdressing and cosmetic and care treatments can cause many risks, e.g. allergic reactions resulting in ailments and diseases (in particular allergic reactions of the respiratory system). In some cases, symptoms occur and develop only after a longer period of exposure to the preparation. They can primarily sensitize paints containing phenylenediamines, diaminophenols, naphthole, fragrances added to cosmetics. In addition, chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide (used m.in in hair lightening treatments) have a corrosive effect on the skin of the hands and eyes.
One of the most common diseases occurring in people working in this profession is skin disease – eczema. The initial symptoms of this disease are pimples on the skin of the hands, testifying to inflammation.
Prevention in counteracting the possible negative effects of the use of chemicals will be based on:
- the use of disposable protective gloves for treatments that require hand contact with chemical preparations, e.g. when applying paint, rinsing, oxidation;
- reading the labels of chemical preparations used at work stations. Preparations should be stored in marked containers, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
- using tested protective creams that allow you to keep the skin of your hands in good condition. Hands should be cremated before starting work, always after washing and thoroughly wiping the hands;
- the use of personal protective equipment: protective glasses, gloves, half masks adapted to the shape of the face, especially when using preparations that irritate the skin or eyes;
- airing the premises of the plant several times during the working day, if conditions permit.
Other threats occurring in hairdressing and beauty salons are biological threats: viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites. People who use the services of hairdressing and beauty salons may be unaware carriers of dangerous viral diseases. The most common is the flu virus.
However, the most dangerous are: the hepatitis C virus (HCV) causing inflammation, cirrhosis and then liver cancer, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) causing implantable jaundice and the HIV virus causing impairment of the AIDS immune system. Infection with these viruses occurs through the blood, blood serum and other human body fluids, which in practice is most often done as a result of injury (razor blade, razor blade, needle, scissors, etc.), through contact with the blood of an infected person.
On the skin and mucous membranes of man live microbes – bacteria, most of which are harmless. Some, however, can cause diseases (streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, fungi and parasites). One of the most dangerous bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus. It contributes to many diseases – from minor superficial skin or mucous membrane diseases to food poisoning and organ diseases. Fungi, on the other hand, cause mycosis of hairy skin, hair and nails (thickening, brittleness, hyperkeratosis, discoloration). Parasites with which to become infected are primarily scabies mites (whitish mites, the length of which reaches 0.4 mm).
Infections with pathogenic bacteria, fungi and parasites most often occur in connection with contact with hairdressing and cosmetic objects and tools.
To avoid infection with viruses, bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms in the salon should:
- disinfect reusable tools used after each use;
- sterilize instruments or parts thereof that may have come into contact with the customer’s blood or skin;
- use only disposable needles and syringes;
- wash and disinfect places and instruments where there is the greatest risk of microbial accumulation: worktops, trays, containers in which tools are stored, seat head restraints, washbasins, internal hoops of stationary dryers, bowls and vessels for soaking hands/legs;
- store in labelled, closed containers of disposable instruments that have been in contact with human blood and other body fluids;
- wash your hands with warm soapy water/disinfectant before and after treatments;
- in the lockers store employees’ clothing separately private and working. Used and dirty clothing, towels should be stored in marked and lockable containers;
- ensure the smooth functioning of the first aid system in the event of an accident: prepare first aid measures in the form of a properly equipped first aid kit and appoint a first-aid kit who is properly trained.
Good organization of the workplace in the hairdressing and beauty salon also means care for the selection of auxiliary equipment, rest and exercises that reduce fatigue and ailments every day.
To counteract the ailments of the musculoskeletal system, as well as reduce fatigue after work, you should:
- adjust to your height tables, sinks, counters. Arrange the necessary tools and equipment so that they are at hand;
- store heavy objects and materials on shelves at a height in the area between the knees and shoulders;
- wear comfortable footwear on a thick non-slip sole without heels, designed to work in a standing position;
- change the position of the body during work. It is best to work alternately in a standing and sitting position;
- use ergonomic, adjustable seats in a sitting position. They should be adapted to the height and shape of the worker’s body (the seat should be equipped with an armrest, support for the lumbar part of the spine and a 5-arm base on wheels);
- use tools with ergonomic handles and shapes. The tools should not cause discomfort of use – nuisance and pain in the fingers (especially the thumb), wrists;
- regularly use rest breaks, during which it is worth doing a few simple physical exercises to stretch and relax;
For the health and safety of his employees and customers, the employer should additionally:
- provide adequate lighting – general and workplaces. Where activities are performed, precise lighting should be at least 500 lux (so that all details can be seen effortlessly) and faithfully reflect natural colors. Luminaires of light sources must not cause glare and glare;
- ensure that the floor surface is cleaned regularly and whenever there is visible dirt on it. Surfaces should be dry, spilled liquids or greasy stains should be removed immediately;
- ensure that there is no furniture and auxiliary equipment in the communication routes used by employees and customers. This will reduce the risk of trips and slips;
- pay attention to the noise level. If it is too high (you cannot freely hear what a customer or colleague 1 m away from you is saying), you may need to use devices with lower noise emissions (dryers, shavers, air conditioners), use sound absorbing materials on the walls / ceiling, use acoustic screens between loud workstations or move them away from each other. If it is not possible to eliminate high noise levels, the employer should equip employees with hearing protectors (headphones, earplugs);
- pay attention to whether the electrical installation, electrical wires of power tools and extension cords have undamaged insulation, whether electrical sockets meet the requirements of fire protection (undamaged, tight sockets), are fixed solidly in the walls / countertops;
- equip workstations with the necessary equipment for extinguishing the fire, adapted to the nature of the premises.
Projekt otrzymał dofinansowanie z Norwegii poprzez Fundusze Norweskie 2014-2021, w ramach programu „Dialog społeczny – godna praca”.