The increased popularity of acrylic nail extensions, manicures and other treatments in recent years has seen a rapid expansion in the number of nail bars in the district.
The trend has triggered the launch of a campaign by Warwick District Council’s Health and Safety team with the aim of ensuring that all nail outlets are complying with health and safety legislation and that the working environment is of a good standard for technicians, clients and other employees working within the premises.
In the past year a total of 36 inspections have been carried out by the Council, eight of which were nail bars that offered solely nail treatments and the remainder were salons offering nail treatments, alongside other traditional beauty services. The findings revealed that for some of the nail bars within the district, there was a poor understanding of the chemical safety and health risks associated with nail bar products. In some cases the control of the chemical risks to workers using liquid and powder acrylic nail systems was unsatisfactory, with very strong fumes and little or no form of natural or mechanical ventilation. There was also a lack of knowledge about infection control and poor selection of face masks.
The beauty salons which offered nail treatments in addition to other beauty treatments were generally of a higher standard, with technicians appropriately trained and qualified, a good standard of infection control procedures and awareness of the advice discouraging the use of acrylic nail products containing Methyl Methacrylate (MMA).
However some of the beauty salons did lack knowledge regarding the need to carry out risk assessments for hazardous chemicals associated with acrylic nail products that they used.
The inspectors have used a staged approach to enforcement, issuing written advice to the operators where relevant in the first instance. As a result significant improvements have been made to nail bars to achieve high standards and compliance to protect both staff and clients.
Warwick District Council’s portfolio folder Health and Community Protection, Cllr Andrew Thompson commented;
“Health and safety relating to nail treatments has been something that has been raised nationally as a potential risk, particularly with the growth in the number of places offering treatments. As a District Council, our officers have been proactive in engaging with businesses that offer these services through this inspection programme, to make sure that customers and staff are safe and protected. It is therefore great to see that this campaign has helped businesses to improve their standard of health and safety in the district’s nail bars and salons. We have received positive feedback from salon owners who have found the visits informative and enabled them to comply with relevant legislation in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff and clients, and I thank them for their genuine engagement to make sure we have high quality health and safety here in our district.”
We have also produced a special guidance leaflet for nail and beauty salons to support the initiative, which has been distributed to businesses.