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Hair Salon Infection & Disease Compensation Claims
Hairdressers need to pay particular attention to the hygiene of their premises, equipment, products and staff to protect customers from the risk of injury, infection and disease. While no specific regulations exist to govern hairdressing hygiene, salons are required to register with their local authority and submit to inspections by officers from the Environmental Health Department. When choosing a new salon customers should look for awards from The Hair and Beauty Industry Association (HABIA), which recognises high standards of hygiene and good health and safety practises.
Hygiene is essential for both customers and staff at hair salons, to prevent the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals contained in products, and the transmission of infectious diseases. Salon owners should regularly assess the procedures they have in place and the products they use to minimise the risk or harm to their visitors and employees.
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Research has shown that hairdressing is the second most high risk occupation in relation to the use of hazardous chemicals. The storage, use and disposal of chemicals at hair salons is governed by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). All hairdressing products must also comply with the Cosmetic Products Regulations 1978. Dangerous chemicals may affect those who breath fumes from products, or who have substances spilled on their skin or in the eye. They may also be absorbed through the skin via contact with contaminated surfaces, clothing or equipment. Many chemicals contained in hair products have a mandated Occupational Exposure Limit, emphasising the need for adequate ventilation in salons, as well as an efficient system of cleaning up spilled preparations.
All implements in use at salons that customers come into contact with must be properly cleaned and sterlised prior to use, including scissors, razors, hairbrushes and combs. A variety of infectious diseases may be transmitted at hair salons even by indirect contact, including flu, scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) and Impetigo, a skin disease that causes blisters and running sores. Perhaps the most common disease transmitted at hair salons is dermatitis. This particularly affects salon staff, with research showing that 7 out of 10 stylists will contract dermatitis at some point during their careers. The risk of irritant dermatitis can be minimised by the use of protective equipment such as vinyl or nitrile gloves. Latex gloves should never be used as a significant number of people are allergic to this natural rubber. Allergic contact dermatitis is more difficult to deal with, as it can develop almost immediately following contact with a sensitising agent, including chemicals contained in hair products.
Legal Responsibilities of Hair Salons for Hygiene
The importance of cleanliness in hair salons extends to the personal hygiene of salon staff. Workers must keep their hands, clothing and overalls clean, and cover any cuts or abrasions with impermeable dressings. Salon owners must provide adequate cleaning facilities for staff, and ensure that they follow health and safety procedures by using them regularly. Floor surfaces must be kept clean, and free from spilled liquids and obstacles such as power cables which may cause a customer to trip and fall. Both staff and customers have a right to expect that a salon will have taken all reasonable steps to protect them from the risk of injury and illness. Those who have been injured or contracted a disease at a hair salon should contact our specialist female solicitors for free confidential advice on whether to proceed with a claim for compensation.
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