Salon Owner’s Guide to Health and Safety Regulations

By Darragh Timlin on November 30th, 2023

As a salon owner, ensuring your premises are safe for both staff and clients is a legal obligation. Keeping up with health and safety requirements may feel like an added burden amidst the pressures of running a business.

However, workplace safety is non-negotiable – ignoring regulations puts your staff and customers at risk and leaves your salon vulnerable to serious penalties or even closure.

By creating and consistently enforcing thorough health and safety policies, you protect your team, provide quality services safely, avoid fines, and reinforce your professional reputation.

Conduct Risk Assessments

The foundation of any beauty salon health and safety plan is conducting a thorough risk assessment. This involves carefully evaluating your premises to identify potential hazards and determine necessary control measures.

Look critically at all areas clients access as well as staff-only zones. Assess the likelihood of harm from risks like slippery floors, cluttered walkways, exposed wires, improper chemical storage, poor ventilation, unprotected equipment, etc. Document any identified issues or improvements needed.

Re-do assessments regularly, especially after operational changes like new equipment or services. Risk assessments show regulators you are proactively identifying and managing health and safety matters.

Create Salon Safety Policies and Procedures

Once risks are identified through assessments, establish clear safety policies and procedures to address them. These should cover hazards specific to your salon as well as general practices.

Examples of Safety Policies and Procedures

  • Sanitation requirements for workstations, tools, and equipment
  • Correct use of chemicals like disinfectants and hair dyes
  • Electrical safety standards
  • Proper handling/disposal of sharp implements and waste
  • Using personal protective equipment (gloves, aprons etc.)
  • Fire safety and evacuation protocols
  • First aid response

Document all policies fully and train staff thoroughly on procedures. Review regularly to ensure best practices as regulations evolve.

Maintain the Salon Environment

Ongoing maintenance of your premises is crucial. Conduct regular safety checks of floors, furniture, electrical points, ventilation, lighting and hot water systems looking for any issues needing repair.

Keep walkways completely clear and free of obstructing wires, and position workstations with adequate space for safe movement. Also, provide easily accessible first aid and fire safety equipment and properly store chemicals, tools and products, keeping appliances properly insulated.

Document Incidents Thoroughly

Keep written records of all health and safety incidents, even minor ones. Documentation shows regulators you take matters seriously and helps identify recurring issues needing review.

Records should cover details like the date, people involved, nature of injury/damage, contributing factors, actions taken, witnesses etc. photograph evidence if relevant. Sort paperwork logically for easy retrieval.

Keep Current with Training

Regular training demonstrates your commitment to salon safety while keeping staff skills current. Include emergency protocols like fire, first aid, electrical and chemical handling.

Refresh key training topics annually and maintain precise records showing staff completion of all courses. Consider specialised classes too like health and safety qualifications.

Lead by Example

As the salon owner, your own health and safety diligence sets the tone. Never overlook rules or safety equipment even during busy times. Be a role model, intervening immediately if you observe unsafe practices. In prioritising safety personally, you are able to reinforce its importance throughout your business.

Likewise, create an open environment where staff feel comfortable raising concerns. Make health and safety a frequent agenda item for meetings.

Comply With Employment Laws

Abiding by employment laws around topics like minimum wages, working hours, discrimination, and holiday/sick pay are fundamental for salon safety.

Overworked, underpaid staff are more prone to high-risk errors. HR compliance shows workers you value their well-being – a prerequisite for a hazard-free workplace. It also reduces chances for HMRC or employment tribunal action against your business.

Display Safety Signage

Use clear signage to raise safety awareness. Post reminder notices about procedures, protective gear requirements, hazard warnings, evacuation routes etc. positioned where staff can easily see them.

Well-placed signs act as useful prompts to follow proper protocols. They also demonstrate your commitment to salon safety which regulators look for.

Perform Audits and Inspections

In addition to internal assessments, bring in external experts like health and safety consultants periodically to audit your salon. Fresh eyes help identify risks overlooked internally and ensure compliance with changing laws.

Authorities also perform workplace inspections. Always comply fully with inspector guidance, as their feedback highlights areas needing improvement to avoid future enforcement action.

Maintain Vigilance

While establishing comprehensive policies, don’t become complacent. Actively supervise staff and services, enforcing compliance. Identify newly introduced hazards like new chemicals added to your salon’s offerings.

Client and employee safety should remain an utmost priority throughout your salon’s lifespan. Staying vigilant and proactively addressing risks is key to sustaining a hazard-free workplace.

Consider Insurance

Though robust health and safety measures reduce risks, accidents can still happen. Consider specialised salon insurance covering liability claims, property damage, or business interruptions arising from incidents.

Quality insurance gives peace of mind if injuries or issues occur despite your best efforts. Make sure policies align closely with typical salon risks.

Protect Your Salon the Smart Way with Salon Saver

While meeting all health and safety obligations is challenging, workplace safety ultimately protects your profits by avoiding incidents that damage staff, clients or property.

At Salon Saver, we know first-hand the difficulties salon owners face balancing regulations and business growth. Our bespoke salon insurance policies provide affordable, tailored protection so you can focus on delighting clients.

Get comprehensive cover against risks like property damage, loss of income, liability claims and work-related illnesses/injuries to be confident you’ve secured your business and staff with our specialist expertise.

Contact us today to discuss your insurance needs.  Our friendly team is happy to explain options and ensure you get cover fit for your unique risks and budget.

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Salon Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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