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Safety First in the Salon

Client and staff safety is the responsibility of the salon owner. Matthew Wood, head of insurance at More Th>n Business, advises on how to avoid risks.

Whose responsibility is it to ensure risks in the salon environment are kept to a minimum?

It is the salon owner’s responsibility. You will be accountable for any incidents that happen on your premises involving either your employees or members of the public.

Salons are exposed to public liability risk because they operate in a public space.

If you employ staff on a full-time, part-time, casual, temporary or work-experience basis, you are legally obliged to have employers’ liability insurance to cover against accidents or disease arising in the course of their employment by your business.

How can potential hazards relating to products used in the salon be avoided?

To reduce potential mishaps you should ensure that treatments are only carried out by trained and qualified staff.

It is also vital to enquire about allergies or other medical problems, discuss any risks with the customer and obtain their permission before treatment starts.

All staff should wear synthetic gloves made of vinyl or nitrile when washing hair or using chemical products.

How can slips, trips and falls be avoided in the salon environment?

Slips, trips and falls are extremely common accidents in the hairdressing industry.

Keeping your premises clean, tidy, congestion-free and well-lit will go a long way to preventing accidents.

Spillages should be attended to quickly and the floor should be swept at regular intervals. 

How can a salon owner help protect staff and clients in relation to fire and other natural hazards?

Arson, electrical faults and poor storage practices are the main causes of fire in hairdressing salons. Store all combustible material away from buildings, preferably inside locked waste bins.

Flooding, water escape and storm damage could affect your salon’s contents, so it is important to check with your local authority as to whether your property is in a flood risk area, and make sure your premises are in a good state of repair to help minimise potential damages.

Apart from the safety aspect, how is taking these steps good for business?

Running a business is a demanding job – the paperwork and red tape add to the pressures of ensuring that your salon is well-stocked and staffed.

Reducing the health and safety risks that may arise in the course of your activities will not only lead to huge potential cost savings, but will also inspire the confidence of both staff and customers in your business.

One customer’s bad experience with a treatment could do a great deal of harm to your salon’s reputation.

Ensuring you have an effective risk management policy in place will decrease the likelihood of such an incident and serve to enhance your salon’s reputation as a professional and reputable business.

Is there too much red tape in the salon? Join the debate on My HJi.

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