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Sunbed Tanning Injury Compensation Claims
Sunbeds, and the application of fake tan, at tanning salons offer British people a fast and effective way to emulate those from warmer climates by maintaining an attractive year-round tan. Their popularity is attested to by the estimated 3 million people who use them in the UK annually. Apart from the benefits of looking healthy, sunbeds and fake tan applications, are also a more controlled and effective way of tanning compared to unpredictable natural sunlight. Furthermore sunbeds provide an excellent source of vitamin D which helps maintain the health of bones and the body's immune system.
There are however well-publicised negatives surrounding the use of sunbeds. The Health and Safety Executive links at least 100 cancer deaths every year to the use of sunbeds. More worrying still, research by the British Medical Journal has found that approximately 250,000 children aged between 11 and 17 in the UK regularly use sunbeds. Some people suffer sever allergic reactions to the application of fake tan. If you have suffered such a reaction contact Katherine Evans to discuss a claim for compensation.
The legal situation regarding the use of sunbeds for commercial purposes has remained something of a grey area up until this year. The industry has never been properly regulated, and previously only voluntary guidelines provided by The Sunbed Association (TSA) have had any effect on maintaining consistent performance and safety standards. This is set to change in April 2011 when The Sunbed (Regulation) Act enters into UK law. The Act will seek to enforce many of the recommendations long advocated by the TSA. This will include a legal duty on tanning salon owners to supervise commercial sunbed use, and provide information on the health risks for customers. Protective goggles will become mandatory, while those aged under 18 will be prohibited from frequenting commercial tanning salons altogether.
Legal Responsibilities of Tanning Salon Operators
Over-exposure to UV rays (ultra violet radiation) can cause burn injuries to the skin, as well as eye conditions including conjunctivitis and cataracts. It is also known to be a contributory cause of skin cancer. Despite the lack of specific consumer law, both the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 include provisions requiring that commercial sunbed operators risk assess their working practises, and limit as far as reasonably possible the exposure of both employees and clients to potential risks to their health, including UV rays. Tanning salon operators also have a duty to provide regularly tested, well maintained equipment that is suitable for the purpose for which it is intended.
As commercial organisations serving the general public, tanning salons must also provide a reasonably competent service. Therefore if a salon provides advice and information to clients, such as the length of time to stay on a sunbed, they must ensure that it is accurate and does not directly cause an injury or illness. Otherwise they may be liable to a compensation claim for negligence. Until The Sunbed (Regulation) Act comes into effect the legal situation remains complicated by technical issues and conflicts between UK and EU law. Those injured at a tanning salon or by a commercial sunbed should seek specialist legal advice from solicitors with experience of these types of injury claims. Our expert lawyers offer a free consultation and can best advise injured persons as to whether or not a compensation claim is likely to prove successful.
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