It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to let our hair down, but finally, the prospect of running a beauty salon without health and safety regulations related to COVID-19 may feel
s closer than ever before. July 19th 2021 marked the day that almost all legal restrictions on social contact were removed in England – in Scotland it was August 9th and in Wales, August 7th – and beauty salon owners may be keen to know how their businesses can adapt to this brave new world. So, how can salons be made more safe, and should you keep your PPE in place? We’ll help you unpick the latest guidance here.
COVID-19 health and safety regulations for beauty salons
It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the way beauty salons think about health and safety. Many beauticians have become used to wearing medical face masks, visors or goggles, often with safety screens to separate customers from other customers. Moreover, almost a quarter of salons have had to temporarily close as their staff have been self-isolating or caring for others, according to a July 2021 survey by the National Hair & Beauty Federation.
Most lockdown restrictions were removed on July 19th 2021 – you can read the government’s most up-to-date guidance on working safely as a ‘close contact business’ on GOV.UK.
. But here is a summary of the most significant changes for beauty salons:
- There is no longer a legal requirement for customers or staff to wear face coverings in “close contact service settings”, such as beauty salons.
- You may wish to continue using PPE in a beauty salon, but this is now a recommendation
–for example, if a treatment requires you to be “in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose” –rather than a legal requirement.
- You’re no longer bound by law to collect customers’ contact details, or display an NHS QR code poster, but you may wish to continue doing so in order to support the NHS Test and Trace system.
Ways to keep your beauty salon safe
Even if you’re not legally obliged to wear PPE in your beauty salon, there are various steps you may wish to consider in order to protect your staff and your customers’ safety. Here are some examples:
- Create opportunities for ventilation. This could include fresh air from open windows and doors, but also fans, ducts and vents.
- Consider using screens. While you’re not obliged to do so, Perspex screens and dividers could be one way to reduce infection risk when carrying out beauty treatments.
- Use contactless payments. It may be advisable to reduce customer touchpoints as much as possible, so encouraging contactless payments rather than cash could help limit infection risk.
- Consider an appointment-only model. Taking bookings with different time slots may help reduce the volume of customers in your salon if you wish to maintain social distancing. Making sure that your customers remain comfortable and relaxed in your salon could potentially increase your bookings and help maintain a healthy cash flow.
- Clean surfaces often. By cleaning surfaces – especially those that people touch – you can kill bacteria and reduce the risk of spreading infection. You may wish to keep toilets hygienic and well-maintained.
- Wash your hands regularly. By washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, you can potentially stop bacteria in its tracks.
- Review your signage. Does your signage provide clear instructions or reminders to customers on things like washing their hands? If not, you could look for ways to update your signage.
How to do a beauty salon risk assessment
COVID-19 is just one potential health hazard among many, and even in ‘normal times’ without a pandemic, it’s important to undertake a beauty salon risk assessment to protect you, your staff and your customers. Here is how you might deliver this in three simple steps.
1. Identify the risks. What is the likelihood that someone could be exposed to harm at your workplace? For a beauty salon, this could include hazardous chemicals, faulty equipment and slippery surfaces, for example. Your beauty salon risk assessment should identify all the worst-case scenarios you may one day have to contend with, so that you're as prepared as possible in the event that an accident occurs. For some inspiration, here is an example salon risk assessment (PDF) (for hairdressing) published by the Health and Safety Executive.
2. Control the risks. Once you’ve identified the threats, how can you prevent accidents from occurring? This could include anything
from making sure equipment is disposed, stored or sanitised correctly, to keeping floors clean and clutter-free.
3. Have a plan in place. Even if you’ve done a thorough risk assessment for your beauty salon, you will need an action plan in place if a serious incident occurs. This means having well-trained staff – including on health and safety matters – and who understand what they must do in a crisis; for example, they should have clear instructions on how to evacuate the building if there is a fire.
More talk from Tyl
Getting to grips with all your responsibilities as a business owner can be a tall order, but we aim to make life easier in our Tyl Talks guides. Here are just some examples of our recent business blogs.
This has been prepared by Tyl by NatWest for informational purposes only and should not be treated as advice or a recommendation. There may be other considerations relevant to you and your business so you should undertake your own independent research.
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