There are indeed risks involved in hairdressing as a profession or business, both for practitioners and clients.
Although the tasks carried out in a hairdressing salon or beauty clinic are more usually associated with enhancing personal beauty, it is no less true that it is a work activity like any other, and so there should be safe working procedures and a preventive attitude on the part of those who perform hair treatments in these places.
An effective risk prevention strategy will help avoid catastrophic incidents in which clients are injured and seek redress against the hairdresser or business through taking legal action and filing a hairdresser compensation claim for damages incurred.
Even experienced hairdressers are not immune to the risk of accidents, therefore there should always be a focus on safety, in order to have a safe, healthy and productive day at work.
Risks of electrical contact:
Many of the appliances and instruments used by hairdressers in a hairdressing salon are electrical, and therefore it is very important to be attentive to their correct use. In this sense, hairdressers must be alert against the risks of unwanted contact with the electric current, that is, when unintentionally they become part of an electrical circuit, typically receiving an electric shock.
Causes of electrical contact:
- Direct contact (loose wires, damaged sockets, etc.).
- Indirect contact (lack of earth connection to ground, deterioration of insulation, etc.).
Risk of electrical contact:
- Defective electrical installations and/or damaged tools or appliances.
- Handling of equipment and appliances with wet hands.
- Periodically check the electrical installations, equipment, and
- Check the operation of all circuit breakers, by pressing test buttons once a month.
- Use electrical equipment and appliances that have ground protection (earthing) incorporated.
- Do not open electrical equipment or appliances; call a professional electrician for repairs, etc.
- Do not use electrical appliances with wet hands.
- Do not use electrical equipment that is in poor condition.
Risks of contact with hazardous substances
Most people would not think that hairdressers have a relationship with dangerous substances, especially because the substances or products that they use help other people to look better. For example, performing hair dying or a perming are tasks that may be absolutely routine for hairdressers; nevertheless, it is essential to always pay attention to all aspects of the task in question, as such tasks carry a degree of risk.
Causes of contact with hazardous substances:
- Contact with substances and products used for hairdressing tasks (dyes, perming chemicals, bleaches, soaps, etc.).
- Substitute hazardous substances for others with the same properties, but that generate less danger to people.
- Keep the safety data sheets of the hazardous substances handy.
- Keep containers tightly closed, correctly stored, labelled and in a ventilated place.
- Use personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, eye protection, etc. appropriate to the type of product to be handled.
- Generate work procedures (handling, storage, waste, etc.).
Fire can be extremely dangerous within the environment of a hairdressing salon. Workers should always be alert to fire risks.
Causes of fires:
- Electrical origin (electrical installations, defective or inadequate protection, overloads, etc.)
- Defective gas installations.
- Oversights in the control of heat sources and/or fuels (cigarettes, chemicals).
It is very important that the electrical installations comply with current regulations and that they are regularly inspected by a qualified electrician. The same is valid for any gas installations.
- Keep under control any heat source or fuels.
- Maintain order and cleanliness in all areas of the workplace.
- Ensure the electrical installations comply with current regulations, and that their design, installation, and maintenance are adequate for use.
- Do not overload the electrical installations.
- Perform a periodic control of all gas installations and appliances.
- Establish a smoking ban.
Effective control and management of potential burn risks can help in mitigating any dangerous incidents in which either clients or workers within the establishment might be injured and end up seeking compensation for burns sustained as a result of bad practices, lack of training, or other circumstances which might have been easily avoided.