Shropshire Council

Hairdressing and beauty salons

The main hazards associated with hairdressing and beauty salons (the list is not exhaustive) include:


All electrical equipment must be well maintained and used in a safe manner to prevent the risk of injury from electric shock.  Maintenance should include visual checks for wear and tear (eg exposed wiring) as well as periodic inspection and testing by a competent person ('PAT' testing). Faulty equipment should not be used until it is examined/repaired by a competent person. 

Entrances, floors and stairs

To prevent slips and trips ensure that all areas are kept free from obstructions and that floor areas are regularly swept clean of hair trimmings. Any spillages or wet areas should be attended to immediately.

Hazardous substances

To prevent personal harm from hazardous substances eg skin irritation or respiratory disease, a COSHH risk assessment is required for such substances as cleaning chemicals, shampooing, colouring and bleaching products etc.  All cosmetic products used in salons must comply with the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004, which are enforced by Trading Standards officers.

Work-related dermatitis

To prevent contact dermatitis employers should ensure that all staff are aware of the risk, which arises through frequent wet working or working with milder chemicals such as shampoos or strong chemicals like bleach.  Staff should be trained in the use of suitable gloves (nitrile or vinyl, not latex, 30cm-length glove) and skincare treatments.  Ensure that staff regularly check their skin for early signs of dermatitis. 

Methods of sterilisation and disinfection

Autoclaves - these are highly recommended for equipment sterilisation.  The correct temperature and pressure must be applied for an appropriate length of time in order to ensure sterilisation.

Disinfectants - bleach or 'Milton' solution can be used for soaking combs, brushes and on non-metal surfaces.  Ammonia compound disinfectants (eg barbicide) can be used for metal and plastic items.  Follow manufacturers instructions for correct use.

Skin piercing

Skin piercing activities need to be registered with us.

Ultraviolet tanning

The use of ultraviolet tanning equipment may expose staff and customers to UV radiation at levels, which can cause injuries and ill health in the short term (eg sunburnt skin or conjunctivitis) or in the long term (eg premature skin ageing, skin cancer and cataracts). You must take measures to control these risks as far as is reasonably practicable:

  • be aware that some people are more prone to skin damage than others.
  • provide information and advice to individual customers on the duration of each tanning session, the periods between and the total number of sessions per year
  • provide eye protection and ensure that these are worn at all times the equipment is switched on
  • ensure that the equipment is maintained and serviced as per the manufacturers/suppliers instructions

Main legislative requirements