Health, safety & Hygiene

Health, safety & Hygiene: 


Safety and hygiene standards should always be as high as possible whenever any form of treatment is carried out. It is vital that hygiene and cleanliness are prime considerations; not only for the satisfaction of the client but also to comply with legal requirements.  These are laid down by the Health and Safety at work Act and the local Environmental Health Office.  Business premises are inspected annually and must conform to various hygiene requirements.  Regulations may vary from area to area.

Cross infection must be avoided at all times. By thoroughly checking for contraindications where it is possible to avoid working on people who have obvious infections. However clients are not always aware that infection is present. It is therefore necessary for the safety and well-being of both client and practitioner that sound hygiene measures are strictly adhered to.

When performing any type of therapy treatment where very little equipment is used, and the range of the hygiene measures that had to be implemented are reduced:

  1. Surfaces and equipment should be washed daily with antiseptic solution.
  1. Tools should always be sterilised
  1. Floors should be hovered and mopped daily
  1. Caps and lids on bottles and jars should be immediately replaced when you have used them to avoid spillage
  1. Towels and any linen should be changed for each client
  1. Couch roll and face covers should be used at all times
  1. First aid kit should be available
  1. All paper waste should be disposed immediately into a covered container and disposed at the end of each day.  Waste bins should be disinfected daily
  1. Toilets and washbasins should be cleaned daily with the appropriate chemicals
  1. All oil spills should be wiped up immediately
  1. Disposable gloves should be available
  1. Use antibacterial hand wash between each treatment
  1. Wipe massage chair / couch with antibacterial spray after each treatment

Personal Hygiene:

The practitioner should also adopt high standards of personal image to avoid cross infection at all times:

  1. Always wash hands, preferably with an antibacterial soap prior to the treatment and ensure nails are clean
  1. Long hair should be tied back
  1. Take regular showers
  1. Prevent body odour by using deodorant
  1. Clean teeth twice a day and have regular dental checks
  1. Avoid eating heavily spiced foods before each treatment
  1. Keep fingernails short and don’t wear polish.
  1. Wear minimal make up and no jewellery
  1. Don’t use strongly fragranced perfumes.
  1. Wash hands with anti-bacterial soap between each treatment.

Client Hygiene:

Consultation procedures should screen out the majority of problems, however do not rely on the client’s word and make your own visual and verbal check.  The following steps can be taken to avoid cross infection:

  1. Provide washing facilities and hand wash for the clients to use before and after treatment.
  1. Avoid working over any obvious skin abrasions.
  1. Try to avoid breathing over a client or allow them to breathe over you during the treatment.


Preparation of your Work Area:

Treatment Area

It is most important that you present the best impression of yourself, whether that is in your own treatment room, in a salon or at a client’s home.  The following information should help you to ensure the best impression is always provided.

Work Area

Preparation of the working area prior to the client’s arrival is vital, not only to provide the right impression to the client, but also to ensure that the treatment provided can be completed in the given timeframe.


Health and safety:

We all have a legal responsibility to keep ourselves, our colleagues and our client’s safe at all times within the salon/treatment area. The legislation set out under the:

Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWAA)

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – legislation that gives rights to employees and employer.

The Health and Safety at Work act ensures that employers and employees maintain high standards of health and safety in the workplace.

A health and safety policy must be in place if an employer has more than five employees, and all staff must be aware of it.

Both employers and employees have responsibilities under this Act.


Keeping equipment clean and sterile:

All waste should be disposed of into a lined pedal operated waste bin immediately after use.  Waste should never be left on a trolley.  All surfaces should be wiped down with sanitiser after each use.  Methods of sterilisation and disinfection should be used for tools and equipment.

Disinfection – destroys some bacteria and organisms i.e. barbicide

Sterilisation – Destroys all bacteria and organisms i.e. an autoclave

Legislations to follow

The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations Act 1992 – requires all employers and their employees at work to maintain a safe and healthy working environment.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 – states what regulations to follow.  It is essential that a place of work must have a first aid box containing: plasters, bandages, wound dressings, safety pins, eye pads, and cleaning wipes.

A first aid record book should be kept and if first aid is carried out, information that needs to be recorded is the patients name, date, time, what happened, any injury details, treatment given and any advice given.

The Electricity at Work Regulations Act 1992 – states all electrical equipment should be checked by a qualified electrician annually to make sure it is safe.

This act is concerned with safety while using electricity.  Any electrical equipment used must be checked regularly to ensure that it is safe.  These checks should be listed in a record book and would be important evidence in any legal action that may arise.  Broken or damaged equipment or equipment with exposed wires should not be used.  Cracked sockets should also not be used and sockets should never be overloaded.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations

(RIDDOR) 1995 – states the steps that should be followed if an accident occurs at work of if someone occurs an injury.

Minor accidents should be entered into a record book, stating what occurred and what action was taken.

It is important that all concerned should sign.  If as a result of an accident at work anyone is off work for more than 3 days, or someone is seriously injured, or has a type of occupational disease certified by the doctor, or even dies, a report should be sent to the local authority Environmental Health Department as soon as possible.

The Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 – states all employers and self-employed persons must hold liability insurance.

Employers must take out insurance policies in case of claims by employees for injury, disease or illness related to the workplace.

A certificate must be displayed at work to show that the employer has the insurance.

Environmental Protection Act – waste regulations  – states all waste chemicals must be disposed of safely and anybody using hazardous substances must ensure that disposal of them (by a licensed company) does not cause harm to the environment or landfill site.


Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 1994 – instructs of ways substances deemed as hazardous to health should be stored.  It is a requirement that all employees should be made aware of risks and given appropriate training.  Detailed instructions must be kept regarding any products considered hazardous.

Examples of some COSHH symbols to inform the user of the potential hazards


One other essential requirement you have is to ensure that you are fully insured to provide treatments.  Therefore, you MUST hold a Professional and Public Liability insurance, which must be in place before you practice on the public or charge for your service.   This can be obtained from one of the following companies:

Holistic Insurance Services

Telephone:  01327 354249

Email:  [email protected]


Insync Insurance


Alternatively, you can add your training to your existing insurance cover, but please check with your individual insurance company as requirements vary.