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How dangerous is a ‘wash, cut and style’? Tips for hair stylists & clients.

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hazard

Image source: (Edwards, 2015)

 

Many people visit hair salons for a hairstyle, a haircut, hair treatment or a wash, but how many of us take time to observe the various health and safety hazards that are present at salons? Likewise, how many beauticians have considered the hazards that surround their workspaces? Many may even be guilty of inadvertently creating these hazards. Such hazards can range from failure to sterilize equipment which can result in bodily infections, to overloading electrical outlets which can place appliance users at risk for electric shock. In this blog, we examined five common hazards present at most local and international salons, namely chemical, physical, mechanical, ergonomic, electrical (which falls under the category of physical) and biological hazards; provided tips on how workers and employers can deal with these five hazards; and also provided tips on how clients can spot these hazards. The discussion will be centred on the risk management hierarchy of controls which refers to a sequence of various procedures which can be implemented to either eliminate or alleviate a hazard. Don’t worry, there’s no need to second guess your next hair salon appointment – provided that you bear these tips in mind, that is!

Hierarchy of controls.jpg

Image source: (Matthew, 2016)

Tips For Hair Salon Workers & Employers

Tip #1: How to deal with harsh chemicals

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Hair dye being applied to a client’s hair. Image source: (“Family Health Team”, 2015)

Hair salons often offer a variety of services, such as bleaching, dying, relaxing, tinting, perming, straightening and smoothing. These services expose the employees to harsh chemicals on a daily basis. Such chemicals can enter the body via inhalation or skin absorption. According to a study published by the Journal of Occupational Medicine, out of 170 workers chosen from 56 hair salons across Palestine, 19% reported suffering from respiratory symptoms at some point during their employment (Nemer et al., 2013). The study attributed the symptoms to their constant exposure to chemicals in salons.  Also, in a French study by Weber, Nevala and Mantouvalou (2011), it was found that, while hairdressers represent about 1 % of the entire workforce in France, 20% of women affected by work-related asthma are hairdressers. The table below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the chemicals that are present in products often used in hair salons and the potential effects they have on the human body.  

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Table of a chemicals found in hair salons and their potential effects on human body.    Source: (Toxic Chemicals in Salon Products, 2016)

flammable

Image source: (Paragon STL, n.d.)

Not only are these chemicals harmful if they enter the body, but they are also extremely flammable. For example, hairspray, one of the most common products in hair salons, contains a highly flammable agent called isopropyl alcohol. Hair mousse contains isobutane, propylene glycol and propane, both of which can cause a fire if either was to come into contact with an open flame.

So what should you do?

To determine the best measure a beautician should take to avoid the harmful effects of these chemicals, we can refer to the Hierarchy of Controls. If you are an employer or employee of a hair salon, you may choose to start at the top of the hierarchy. In doing so, you might want to eliminate the hazard by tailoring the services you offer do that you avoid any contact with harsh chemicals. On the other hand, this might not be economically feasible as limiting your services might result in loss of clients. If you were to move down the hierarchy, you might want to substitute the products you currently use for those without the harsh chemicals.

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Hair dye being prepared using disposable gloves. Image source: (Family Health Team, 2015)

If you find this difficult, you might want to isolate certain services in the salon to limit contact with the chemicals. For example, isolating hair dying and bleaching to an area away from the main floor of the salon. There is the option of engineering controls, such as ensuring proper ventilation of all areas of the salon. Administrative controls can also be of assistance, by developing and implementing policies and procedures for chemical handling, storage, usage and disposal. Ensuring that all staff members are well trained can also help to reduce the risk. And finally, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be provided to salon workers, for example provision of aprons and disposable gloves for use when mixing or applying hair dye, bleaches and other chemicals.

 

sliptripfall

Image source: (Seton, 2016)

Tip #2: How to avoid slip and trip hazards

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), over 300,000 cases of days away from work due to slips, trips and falls were reported in 2014. Slips and trips can occur in numerous ways. Often, it’s due to lack of traction between our shoes and walking surfaces. For beauticians, an accumulation of shorn hair on the floor or residue from hair products and sprays can become a slip hazard while loose cords on the floor from electrical tools, such as flat irons, blow dryers and curling irons can become a trip hazard.

So what should be done?

Salon employees should therefore clean the floors frequently, disposing of shorn hair and cleaning any residues that may make the floors slippery. Employees should also wear non-skid shoes. Cords should be tied up or taped down to reduce the risk of injury due to trips. Employers should avoid flooring with glazed or shiny finishes as this may increase chances of slips. Skid-resistant floors, which will provide more friction, might be preferred.

Tip #3: How to deal with ergonomic hazards

There are a myriad of ergonomic hazards present in the average hair salon. Hairdressers are often on their feet for almost the entire day. Standing for such long periods can potentially expose hairdressers to muscle and spine complications such as muscle fatigue, muscle strain, varicose veins and back pain.

So what should be done?

In order to rectify this issue, a hairstylist should ensure that the client sits on an adjustable chair so that the client and hairstylist are at levelled height. Levine and Gelb (2003) suggests that, in order to reduce fatigue and maintain poise when working on a client’s hair, stylists should use what is commonly known as a ‘hair cutting stool’ as opposed to standing. The photos below are an illustration of the do’s and don’ts of this ergonomic hazard.

In order to further reduce the risk of injury, the owner of the salon should consider adding anti-fatigue mats to areas in the salon that are used for tasks that involve long hours standing, such as around the client’s chair and in the shampoo area. Workers should also pay attention to the shoes that they wear. The preferred option should be to wear shoes with proper arch support and cushioning (Salaptek, 2014). In addition to providing the necessary equipment, employers should take the time to educate their workers about proper posture and the importance of tools such a hair cutting stool and how they help to reduce pain, fatigue and risk of injury.

image-source-ergonomics-simplified-2016

Awkward grip of utensils. Image source: (Ergonomics Simplified, 2016)

According to a publication by the European Agency for Safety and Health, any awkward gripping of work utensils together with constant sharp and forceful movements may result in problems with the elbow, wrist and hand (EU-OSHA, 2014). Such problems include carpal tunnel syndrome and damage to nerves and tendons from the forearm to the wrist.  The Agency suggests use of utensils with a bended or adjustable grip as these can keep the wrists straight. Additionally, training and instructions on the proper use of these tools are essential.

Another ergonomic hazard in hair salons comes by their use of towels. After washing a client’s hair, a hairdresser might wrap a towel around the client’s head and neck to absorb dripping water from the wet hair. These towels are then dumped into a basket which will later be laundered. As the basket becomes filled with wet towels, the weight increases, and salon workers might be inclined to bend and lift it when the time arrives to launder. Such lifting of heavy items is an ergonomic hazard.

According to the OSHA Technical Manual, published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Unit of the United States Department of Labour, back injuries can develop as a result of a single traumatic event, or as a result of gradual microtrauma caused over a period of time (Occupational Safety, 1993). The slow progress of gradual microtrauma leads is too often ignored until it the symptoms become acute. This type of microtrauma is what would be most often seen in hair salons as a result of lifting or manual handling of heavy towel baskets, and indeed any heavy items in the shop.

Our recommendations?

commercial-grade-rolling-laundry-basket

Commercial grade rolling laundry basket. Image source: (Whitmor, 2016)

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Elevated laundry basket. Image source: (World Marker, 2016)

In using the Hierarchy of Controls to reduce the risk of serious back injury to workers, the option to eliminate the ergonomic hazard by discarding the practice of using baskets might be difficult as this is conventional and cost-effective practice, but employers can substitute the basket with one that does not require constant lifting, such as one with wheels. Additionally, employers might want to rotate employees to perform this task. In addressing the issue of back injuries in relation to heavy lifting, we recommend elevating the basket.

Not all lifting of heavy objects is bad for our health. Salon employees should be instructed on how to properly lift heavy objects and avoid back injury. They should also be constantly reminded by relevant signage (pictured below). 

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Tip #4: How to deal with electrical hazards

It is common for a large hair dryer or even a hand held hairdryer to be placed near the salon’s sink. At a hair salon, water and electrical items can come into close range of each other. To avoid, shock, burn and electrocution, employers and employers can implement the techniques below.  

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Image source: (“Ground Fault Circuit”, 2011)

In using the Hierarchy of Controls, an employer might choose to remove the hazard. While this may solve the problem, it might be impractical as many techniques performed in a hair salon require electrical appliances. A better choice might be engineering controls by installing ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets to maintain electrical safety and to secure the outlets that are likely to come in contact with water. There is also the option to isolate the hazard by rearranging, separating areas for washing from areas for styling with electrical appliances.

However, everyone has a part to play in health and safety, therefore salon workers should regularly inspect electrical cords and appliances for fraying or wear and tear, and ensure that they are tagged after testing so that substandard devices can be replaced. Regular inspections by a qualified electrician are also recommended. On a separate but pertinent point, salons should be outfitted with sufficient electrical outlets in order to prevent existing outlets from being overloaded.

Concerned about overloading of extension sockets? Here’s a video on ‘How to avoid overloading…’

Video Source: (247 Home Rescue, 2015)

Tip #5: How to deal with biological hazards

Salon workers use few tools for multiple clients. It is essential to ensure that their tools are properly sanitized to reduce the presence of biological hazards which can affect the scalp, hair and skin of one client and spread to another. By virtue of the nature of the job, it might be difficult to completely eliminate this hazard. However, moving down the hierarchy of controls to a viable solution brings us to administrative controls.

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Proper hand washing procedure. Image source: (Pfuntuner, 2016)

 

 

Employees should be properly instructed and trained as to the importance and performance of sanitation practices and procedures. Cleaning of all equipment after use should be mandatory at the salon to avoid the spread of harmful pathogens and bacteria such as staphylococcus, scalp ringworm and parasites. Salon employees should also regularly wash their hands, with antibacterial soap, in an effort to reduce spreading of germs between clients and to themselves. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work suggests that, as a matter of routine, brushes, combs, scissors, razors and clippers etc., must be washed in hot soapy water and then immersed in disinfectant solution for 15-20 mins. One such disinfectants solution is barbicide which is a germicide, fungicide and virucide.

Tips For Hair Salon Clients

There are many hazards present in your average hair salon. We have mentioned above, a few serious hazards that are often overlooked by hair salon employees and employers. However, the hazards in a hair salon do not only affect the employees and employers, but they can also affect clients of the salon. If clients are not keeping a keen eye out they may not even notice hazards that may affect them until it is too late. If you are a client of a hair salon, then in an effort to prevent you from becoming a casualty of that salon, wish to provide you with tips on a few hazards that you should look out for on your next trip to the salon.

Tip #1: Look out for chemical hazards

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The air at a salon might be a chemical cocktail. Image source: (Oliver, 2013)

As the client, you should pay attention to what products are being used in your hair. It is your duty to ensure that the products used would not harm you in any way. You should also make sure that you are not allergic to any of the products by reading the labels of the products to have an understanding of their composition.

You should also take note of the use of any flammable products used in your hair (refer to the table above). If any such chemicals are used, you would need to make sure that you stay clear of any open flames until the chemical is cleansed from your hair.

Additionally, you should understand method of usage for any chemicals to be used on your hair in order to ensure that the hairdresser is using the product correctly. For example, it is important that the recommended time is not exceeded when having a perm or relaxer treatment in your hair as the product may cause damage to your hair and scalp or even burns and nerve damage. Further, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work emphasizes the importance of proper ventilation of the salon to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals. Therefore, you should make sure that your salon is well ventilated.

Tip #2: Look out for slip & trip hazards

It is important to pay attention while walking within the salon to ensure that you avoid any slips and trips. Pay attention to the hair which may be left on the floor as this causes a slippery surface. If there are loose cords on the floor, be wary and try to avoid them. You may also bring these loose cords to the attention of your hairdresser, pointing out the trip hazard which can endanger the workers of the salon and fellow customers, so that the issue might be rectified.

Tip #3: Look for ergonomic hazards

Not only are the employers or employees susceptible to ergonomic hazards but so too are the hair salon’s clients. Clients may experience discomfort due to the inappropriate furniture used at the hair salon. You should make sure that the chairs used for washing your hair allows you to recline comfortably to the sink so as to not cause you to stretch your neck over the chair to meet the edge of the sink. Holding the latter position for the duration of your shampoo treatment could cause muscle strain and neck pain.

Tip #4: Look out for electrical hazards

In many salons hairdressers use a number of different electrical devices, mentioned above, such as flat irons, hair dryers and curling irons. While they may be blow drying your hair they may also have the flat iron and curling iron plugged in and preheating, so that they can quickly switch between tools. Sometimes, these various tools may be plugged into the same outlet. Overloading of electrical outlets is an electrical hazard, so be sure to check out the electrical outlets and power-strips making sure that they are not overloaded since this puts you at risk. Also look out for torn or worn out insulation on the cords of electrical devices. 

Be very vigilant about electrical hazards since these can lead to fires. Since hair stylists often use flammable chemicals on their client’s hair, your hair could very well be at risk for catching fire in the event a fire were to break out in a salon.

 

Tip #5: Look out for biological hazards

barbicide

Barbicide: a disinfectant solution; a germicide, fungicide and virucide. Image Source: (Renscene Ltd, 2016)

 

It is important that you check to see if salon tools are regularly sanitized. Ensure that the hair brushes, curlers, combs and other tools are cleaned and no excess hair is left behind from other clients. These tools can be cleaned by using barbicide or any other equal or better method. Ensure that stylists also wash their hands with antibacterial soap after dealing with another client before moving on to you.

In closing…

To sum things up, hairdressers and employers should be aware of the harsh chemicals found in common salon products and the effects they can have on the human body. Use measures such as substitution or changing administrative controls to reduce the risk of exposure. Try to avoid slip and trip hazards in the workplace by often cleaning your floor space. For better ergonomic practices, employ the method of using a hair cutting stool to sit while cutting hair and use appliances with adjustable grips to avoid awkward gripping on salon tools. Use rolling laundry basket to avoid frequent lifting of laundry baskets but if you must lift, then remember to bend your knees. You might want to invest in a GFCI outlet and avoid overloading of electrical outlets. Remember to practice proper hygiene and properly sanitize salon tools. If you are a client, be on the look out for the hazards discussed above. These are the chemical hazards, slip and trip hazards, ergonomic hazards, electrical hazards and biological hazards. Whether you are a hair salon worker, an employer or a client, we hope that these tips will help you to become more aware of the hazards that may be present in your salon and how you can mitigate these hazards and their associated risks by implementing the hierarchy of controls. With these tips in mind, your next haircut will be a cut above the rest! 
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References

247 Home Rescue. (2015, November 18). How to avoid overloading extension sockets – 24|7 Home Rescue YouTube video file. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwqNdmN2Zd8

Accuform. (2016). OSHA Notice Safety Sign: Avoid Contamination – Wash Your Hands. [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.accuform.com/safety-sign/notice-avoid-contamination-wash-your-hands-wgraphic-MRST804

Beauty and Its Beast: Unmasking the Impacts of Toxic Chemicals on Salon Workers. (2014). Women’s Voices For The Earth. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from: http://www.womensvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Beauty-and-Its-Beast-fact-sheet.pdf

Edwards, C. (2015). Haz waste in the workplace – salon [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.grundon.com/Blog/Hazardous-Waste-In-The-Workplace

Ergonomics Simplified. (2016) Hairdresser 5 [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.ergonomicssimplified.com/professions/hairdresser

EU-OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work). (2014). Occupational health and safety in the hairdressing sector. Retrieved from: https://osha.europa.eu/en/tools-and-publications/publications/literature_reviews/occupational-health-and-safety-in-the-hairdressing-sector

Family Health Team. (2015). Use Hair Dye? Watch for Red Flags With Salon or Box Color. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/01/use-hair-dye-watch-for-red-flags-whether-its-salon-or-box-color/

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): Prevention from Shock Hazards. (2011). SafeElectricity.org. Retrieved from: https://www.safeelectricity.org/information-center/library-of-articles/55-home-safety/317-ground-fault-circuit-interrupters-gfcis

Levine, K., and Gelb, A. (2003). A Survival Guide for Cosmetologists: Tips from the Trenches. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

Matthew, S. (2016). Keeping construction workers safe around high-voltage assets. Entura. Retrieved from: http://www.entura.com.au/keeping-construction-workers-safe-around-high-voltage-assets/Madelin, C. (2015). Hairstylists Are More Likely To Have Alzheimer’s And Eczema, According To  Studies. The Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/27/hairstylists-are-more-lik_n_7451216.html

Melbourne Institute of Nails & Beauty. (2014, October 12). Occupational health and safety in a hairdressing salon – Lesson. YouTube video file. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBc4rIg0k3Q&noredirect=1

MySafteySign.com. (2016). Lifting Instruction Signs [Online Images]. Retrieved from: http://www.mysafetysign.com/lifting-instruction-signs

Nemer, M., P. Kristensen, K. Nijem, E. Bjertness, and M. Skogstad. 2013. “Respiratory function and chemical exposures among female hairdressers in Palestine.” Occupational Medicine 63, no. 1: 73. E-Journals, EBSCOhost (accessed October 20, 2016).

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (1993). OSHA Technical Manual. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vii/otm_vii_1.html#3

Oliver, Dana. (2013) HAIR-SALON-HAZARDS-570 [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/hair-salon-hazards-photos_n_3389688.html

Paragon STL. (n.d.). Highly Flammable Household Objects [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.paragonstl.com/highly-flammable-household-objects/

Pfuntner, A. (2011). 2311 Sanitation Fig 1 [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2011/proper-hand-washing-a-vital-food-safety-step/

Renscene Ltd. (2016). Barbicide 1 Litre Jar [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.hairproducts.co.uk/barbicide_1litrejar.php

RPM Therapy. (2016). Preferred and Non preferred Positions [Online Images]. Retrieved from: http://rpm-therapy.com/2012/hairdressers-salons-prevent-work-related-injuries/

Salaptek, L. (2014). Stand all day? 9 Ways You Can Reduce Leg, Foot and Back Pain. Modern Salon. Retrieved from: http://www.modernsalon.com/article/24830/stand-all-day-9-ways-you-can-reduce-leg-foot-and-back-pain

Seton.(2016). Be Aware of Slips, Trips & Falls Poster. [Online Image]. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/images/2S3ZwJ

Toxic Chemicals in Salon Products. (2016). Women’s Voices For The Earth. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from: http://www.womensvoices.org/avoid-toxic-chemicals/salon-products/toxic-chemicals-in-salon-products-workers

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015, November  19). NONFATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES REQUIRING DAYS AWAY FROM WORK, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf

Weber, T., Nevala, A., and Mantouvalou., K. (2011) Final report.  Retrieved from: http://www.coiffure.eu/websites/anko_coiffure/files/2011%20June%20Final%20report%20Tina%20Weber%20H&S.pdf

Whitmor. (2016). Commercial Round Laundry Hamper [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://whitmor.com/laundry-garment/commercial-round-laundry-hamper.html

World Market. (2016) Ellie Rolling Laundry Cart [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/ellie+rolling+laundry+cart.do?pftv=58DXVvubDr

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Author: thesafetysquad7

The Safety Squad is a group of students reading for Occupational Safety and Health Management (MGMT 3311) at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. We comprise students of the Faculty of Social Sciences as well as the Faculty of Law. The members of our group are as follows: Shelby Seenath, Suzette Richardson, Shernice Phillip, Victoria Young, Neeta Rampersad, Elena Balkaran and Sinead Roachford.

14 thoughts on “How dangerous is a ‘wash, cut and style’? Tips for hair stylists & clients.

  1. After reading “Safety Squad Group” Blog it opened my eyes to the many aspects of hazards you may encounter while at your favourite hair salon. It also gave me a greater sense and awareness for things that may cause risk to my health and safety. Persons visit hair salon with the expectation of receiving a transformative experience only to know that you can be seriously damaged. The “Safety Squad Group” highlighted five (5) areas of concerns that may cause physical harm and injury to the customers but what about the psychological aspects that affect the metal health of customers and workers alike? According to Coted’Or occupational health service, doctors quizzed hairdressers about their stress levels which revealed that about half of the workers reported to suffer from fatigued or stress and many suffered from sleep disorders. Some customers may also suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety disorders after suffering hair loss and sink disorders from the use of harsh chemicals and equipment at saloons. I would recommend that employers educated their staff on the proper use of equipment and chemical handling.

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  2. Of-course to use chemical to your skin or scalp can be hazardous. But still people are following the same approach and using these hair and skin products. Though every chemical product is hazardous but it take so much care and maintenance after using such products and services.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a good research by safetysquad7. You pointed out that people are not fully aware of the hazards in a salon which is true. The information on the products and their main chemicals and the threat they pose to hairdressers is very thorough and informative. I also think that these chemicals have a temporary effect on clients such as chemical burns from relaxers.

    Great analysis on ergonomic hazard, it goes beyond the hair dresser standing all day but you also touched on the stresses of using hair styling tools. Good points were also made when analyzing the biological hazards. Bacteria are easily spread when you fail to follow proper sanitation practices.

    Over all a good research, however, I would like to add that hair trimmings are a major slip hazard. Additionally, I wished you investigated noise and heat hazards. Hair dressers are always exposed to noise of hair blowers and the heat of the heaters, hot combs, blow dryers, flat-irons etc.

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  4. I must say that this article was an insightful read and relatable topic. Kudos for keeping my attention throughout with your vibrant use of colour (love the purples and pinks) and pictures that helped to convey your message more effectively. I like the inclusion of the Hierarchy of Controls diagram which I could have referenced when you spoke about the different controls for the hazards.

    Since you’ve given so many tips to me, I have a few for you.

    Tip #1- Spelling- I know that in reading your blog about 100 times before you posted it, the little spelling errors may not have jumped out at you because you know what you wanted to say. This happens to us all. Simple words like “so” was written as “do” and I also remember reading “employers and employers” where it should have read “employers and employees.”

    Tip #2-Punctuation- Sometimes there were too many commas in sentences where they need not be. This broke up my thought flow a little when reading the blog.

    Tip #3- Missing out words- Similar to the spelling, when you know what your blog is supposed to say, if you miss out a word you personally won’t notice. For instance you said “wish to provide you” where it should have been “we wish to provide you.”

    My recommendation for these three “tips” is to get someone impartial to read your blog before posting. That individual may quicker pick up on these minor areas that would help you to improve your blog.

    However, content-wise your article was spot on! You covered each of the hazard areas you highlighted in the introduction, gave real life examples and doable solutions. The reference to the literature was well-placed in your writing. I like how you formatted each hazard into a “tip” and then the “so what should be done” sections, breaking up the information into smaller chunks. It was much easier for me to process, especially where you reiterated your points at the end of the blog.

    Altogether this was a well-written blog. Thank you for your analyses of the potential hazards and safety measures for hair salons. I’ll be sure to look out for them the next time I go for a haircut. I’ll also be sure to point out any hazards to my hairdresser and give some recommendations if I spot one. 

    – Sunita N. (813001173)

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  5. #812000134

    I really enjoyed reading this article as it relates to my personal life. I love the fact that the use of information brought forward was tied in with the Risk Management theory i.e. the Hierarchy of Controls to help us be aware of the ways in which persons can go about minimizing risk especially in the workplace setting. Secondly, the use of the video on “overloading on extension sockets” has made the literature come to reality by not having to simply read the article by itself, but by hearing others person’s point of view on it via YouTube adds to our understanding. Some of the ideas brought forward in this blog i.e. hairspray containing flammable agents, has caused me to become more knowledgeable to information that I never knew before. I also agree with the point made about a hairdresser having to wash combs, brushes, razors and clippers in hot water because most of the time some hairdressers especially when experiencing fatigue during the last half of the day when their shift is almost over they cut corners and rush to get you out of their chair quickly. Even so, what was not mentioned is the fact that sharp implements such as razor blades and scissors can accidentally penetrate the skin. Blood and body fluids do not have to be visible on instruments, equipment or working surfaces for infection to be transmitted. Razors or scissors may become contaminated if they pierce the skin and could transmit blood borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis B or C. I would also mention that in the medical world, they actually have a term called the “beauty parlor stroke.”This occurs while someone’s hair is getting shampooed and the arteries in their neck can get cut or torn due to hyper-extension that happen during a salon visit. To prevent future beauty parlor strokes, they should look for a chair where the neck is adjustable and there’s adequate neck support. Also the point made about adopting awkward postures can be also caused by inadequate lighting (i.e. glare, low levels). Therefore a recommendation can be to maintain proper use of adequate lighting levels for employees and customers.

    In this blog, even though it was mentioned that towels must be washed after each use of a client, I would have also looked at the use of disposable neck wraps to give to clients or even single use towels, also known as Eco towels that can be used to replace regular salon towels but encompass many benefits for the environment as they do not require a washing machine or dryer. Eliminating the need for electrical appliances can help salons to save money on their water and energy bills, prevent accidents or electrical fires, as well as conserving vital resources such as water. In addition, single use towels do not compromise on hygiene. As one towel is used on one client it is guaranteed to be the most hygienic option available on the market. They also save time as they come freshly folded as well as being aesthetically pleasing as they are not worn or bleached stained which reassures the clients of the high standards within the salon.

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  6. PRIYA GALBARAN-813000255

    After reading this blog, I have been able to reflect on the different types of hazards that actually exist at the hair salon when one goes to cut, wash and style. It is true that most hairdressers and beauticians hardly ever take the time to consider the hazards that are present in their workplace. Also, I personally would agree that clients do not take the time to carefully observe the hazards that surround them while getting their hair done. This blog was very informative to me as it highlighted the risk management hierarchy of controls- a sequence of various procedures which can be implemented to either eliminate or alleviate a hazard while at the hair salon along with tips for the employees and employers as well as the clients. Additionally, this blog provided insightful recommendations on how hairdressers and beauticians can create a risk-free workplace and how clients can be more aware and cautious of hazards that may be a risk to them.

    The idea of creating a diagram to clearly show the hierarchy of controls made it easier and more understandable. From this diagram, I was able to get a better understanding of the different steps that must be implemented in order to eliminate or alleviate a hazard. Also, the use of additional visual aids such as photos, tables and charts provided excellent aid to explain points that were too wordy. For instance, the table which showed the different products and the chemicals contained in them along with the potential symptoms and long term effects was quite clear to me as it highlighted the various hazards to the employee, employer and the client. In addition to that, the design of photos and caution signs to indicate the right way of doing certain things while at the salon allowed me the opportunity to actually see for myself how things can be done in order to prevent hazards such as: trips and falls, backaches, spine fracture and overloading of electrical outlets.

    With all the information presented in the blog, it is quite evident that the group thoroughly researched their broad topic in order to successfully create such an informative blog. The fact that the group utilised a variety of secondary research, convinced me that an abundance of research was conducted and this was seen through the citation of articles and references from other sources. However, the only downfall to this was the fact that the group did not utilise primary research in order to enhance the information for their blog. Personally, I believe that the group could have undertaken direct observations at a hair salon in Trinidad which would have made the information more credible and viable. It also would have contributed to further insights into the various hazards that are present in a hair salon.

    With regards to examining the strengths of this blog, the fact that each hazard was clearly identified in the tips stated was a major strength as it gave me a better understanding as to what should be expected from the hairdressers themselves and what is expected from me-the client. Also, the recommendations added great value to this blog since it provided different ways on how the hazards can be spotted and avoided. These would include: the use of harsh chemicals, slip and trip, ergonomics, electrical and biological.
    Additionally, each point or section of the blog was clearly distinguished from each other as there was the use to sub-headings. This made it easier to navigate through the blog in order to understand all the information presented. Furthermore, for each sub-heading a different colour was used and I found this to be a good strategy for keeping the reader interested as the colours help to keep you visually intact with the material. Lastly, conclusion and references were well done. The general design, body and outline of the blog was excellent.

    Like

  7. #812000134

    I really enjoyed reading this article as it relates to my personal life. I love the fact that the use of information brought forward was tied in with the Risk Management theory i.e. the Hierarchy of Controls to help us be aware of the ways in which persons can go about minimizing risk especially in the workplace setting. Secondly, the use of the video on “overloading on extension sockets” has made the literature come to reality by not having to simply read the article by itself, but by hearing others person’s point of view on it via YouTube adds to our understanding. Some of the ideas brought forward in this blog i.e. hairspray containing flammable agents, has caused me to become more knowledgeable to information that I never knew before. I also agree with the point made about a hairdresser having to wash combs, brushes, razors and clippers in hot water because most of the time some hairdressers especially when experiencing fatigue during the last half of the day when their shift is almost over they cut corners and rush to get you out of their chair quickly. Even so, what was not mentioned is the fact that sharp implements such as razor blades and scissors can accidently penetrate the skin. Blood and body fluids do not have to be visible on instruments, equipment or working surfaces for infection to be transmitted. Razors or scissors may become contaminated if they pierce the skin and could transmit blood borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis B or C. I would also mention that in the medical world, they actually have a term called the “beauty parlor stroke.”This occurs while someone’s hair is getting shampooed and the arteries in their neck can get cut or torn due to hyperextension that happen during a salon visit. To prevent future beauty parlor strokes, they should look for a chair where the neck is adjustable and there’s adequate neck support. Also the point made about adopting awkward postures can be also caused by inadequate lighting (i.e. glare, low levels). Therefore a recommendation can be to maintain proper use of adequate lighting levels for employees and customers.

    In this blog, even though it was mentioned that towels must be washed after each use of a client, I would have also looked at the use of disposable neck wraps to give to clients or even single use towels, also known as eco towels that can be used to replace regular salon towels but encompass many benefits for the environment as they do not require a washing machine or dryer. Eliminating the need for electrical appliances can help salons to save money on their water and energy bills, prevent accidents or electrical fires, as well as conserving vital resources such as water. In addition, single use towels do not compromise on hygiene. As one towel is used on one client it is guaranteed to be the most hygienic option available on the market. They also save time as they come freshly folded as well as being aesthetically pleasing as they are not worn or bleached stained which reassures the clients of the high standards within the salon.

    Like

  8. 814001644 – Dylan Waheed

    Informative for both males and females who go to hairdressers/barber salons. The structure was well put together and easy to follow. The use of images to help enhance the clarity of solutions provided is also a strength of this article. The writer referred to both the OSH Act and the Hierarchy of Controls when discussing the solutions to the hazards within the salons. This gives the reader a good impression of a knowledgeable writer and also a form of checklisting ways to reduce risks though this hierarchy.

    While informative, I find the type of organisation chosen for this topic of safety and hazard is a difficult one to discuss. The reason being that almost every hair product contains chemicals and it is unavoidable to eliminate or even use substitute products. Therefore, it is hard for a salon to work in compliance with that aspect of this blog. Also, many customers may be unaware of all the risks that face them when using these chemicals at salons or even at home. So while almost it is almost unavoidable to use these products, the ethical thing to do may be to have a disclaimer for customers. Outline the potential risks to customers before they use these chemicals.

    With that being said, most of the trip and fall hazards, electrical hazards and biological hazards can be avoided. The key word being “most” because it may be too impractical to avoid certain risks in a salon. For example, the hairdryer being used close to the sink or having to stoop/bend your back for a few seconds while cutting a client’s hair.

    Lastly, one major error in this blog was within the ergonomic hazards section. The writer said “Not all lifting of heavy objects is bad for our health”. This in my opinion is not correct as it certainly isn’t good for our health in any way either. The writer could have instead emphasized that sometimes it may be necessary to lift an object with a decent amount of weight and as such should know how to lift objects e.g leverage.

    Altogether, most of the points were informative for the hairdressers and clients. Some points impractical for salons but many other hazards could be avoided eg the slip and fall, electrical overload and even the biological hazards. Good Blog.

    Like

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog post as it provided insight into the health and safety hazards at salons which is an area often overlooked or not taken into consideration. The content of this post was well structured and explained in manner that was easy to understand and grasp. The information provided was also comprehensive for each section and supported by research done previously and illustrations. The visual illustrations helped to not only keep me the reader interested but was easy to understand such as the Hierarchy of Controls. Another strength of this blog post was not only the provision of the hazards and the impact of these but recommendations and suggestions for both salon staff and clients.

    While the post was very detailed and insightful a few recommendations to the writer will be providing a clear definition of each of the five hazards that were going to be discussed one in particular that was not properly defined was electrical hazards. Despite this being more popular than other hazards because it is one that is more common in our everyday lives it should not be taken that all readers are aware of what is an electrical hazard. The tone during the blog also varied and went from formal when discussing research to conversational when providing additional information. A common tone throughout the article would have been more appropriate in this case. The closing paragraph should have been a brief summary not necessarily inclusive of repetition of the recommendations and suggestions mentioned. It should have briefly mention the five hazards highlighted and what the overall intention of the blog was.

    Overall the post was well composed and provided insightful and useful information regarding hazards at a salon while raising awareness of how to notice these hazards and treat with them both salon staff and clients alike.
    Tishara Khan
    813001231

    Like

  10. Great post! As someone with an interest in hair, hair care and the salon industry, I found this post to be very informative. It was well written, which allowed for easy comprehension while making it easier for the retention of information. The visuals included were not only helpful in terms of understanding the material presented but also made the article enjoyable to read, even though the subject matter isn’t typically what one would label as ‘fun’. I liked the breadth of research and references used for those of us who prefer information grounded in fact, and would also like to do additional reading.

    It was a little long and a more succinct presentation of the wealth of information could have improved the impact. Some of the visuals were both strong and clear enough to stand alone without further explanation by text. Additionally, doing a separate post for clients/customers may have helped in reducing the length; while also giving that often overlooked issue greater prominence. I definitely agree with the idea of clients needing to play a role in their own safety in salons. Clients tend not to like to speak out; and as a result suffer from unnecessary burns, irritations, over exposure to heat, as well as discomfort and potential injury (particularly washing bowls) because of that! I also feel that in addition to the signage mentioned in the article, reminders should be there for clients to disclose any allergies, medications and recent bouts of infections (like ringworm) prior to any service.

    Overall, I think the recommendations were sound particularly as it related to actions and procedures aimed at pre-empting any potential hazards as well as mandatory requisite training for all workers. I think this article could easily be used as a quick facts sheets for all salon workers and owners to serve as a reminder of ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ to ensure the safety of their working environment.

    A good read…

    Marsha Boyce.

    Like

  11. After reading this blog, I have been able to reflect on the different types of hazards that actually exist at the hair salon when one goes to cut, wash and style. It is true that most hairdressers and beauticians hardly ever take the time to consider the hazards that are present in their workplace. Also, I personally would agree that clients do not take the time to carefully observe the hazards that surround them while getting their hair done. This blog was very informative to me as it highlighted the risk management hierarchy of controls- a sequence of various procedures which can be implemented to either eliminate or alleviate a hazard while at the hair salon along with tips for the employees and employers as well as the clients. Additionally, this blog provided insightful recommendations on how hairdressers and beauticians can create a risk-free workplace and how clients can be more aware and cautious of hazards that may be a risk to them.

    The idea of creating a diagram to clearly show the hierarchy of controls made it easier and more understandable. From this diagram, I was able to get a better understanding of the different steps that must be implemented in order to eliminate or alleviate a hazard. Also, the use of additional visual aids such as photos, tables and charts provided excellent aid to explain points that were too wordy. For instance, the table which showed the different products and the chemicals contained in them along with the potential symptoms and long term effects was quite clear to me as it highlighted the various hazards to the employee, employer and the client. In addition to that, the design of photos and caution signs to indicate the right way of doing certain things while at the salon allowed me the opportunity to actually see for myself how things can be done in order to prevent hazards such as: trips and falls, backaches, spine fracture and overloading of electrical outlets.

    With all the information presented in the blog, it is quite evident that the group thoroughly researched their broad topic in order to successfully create such an informative blog. The fact that the group utilised a variety of secondary research, convinced me that an abundance of research was conducted and this was seen through the citation of articles and references from other sources. However, the only downfall to this was the fact that the group did not utilise primary research in order to enhance the information for their blog. Personally, I believe that the group could have undertaken direct observations at a hair salon in Trinidad which would have made the information more credible and viable. It also would have contributed to further insights into the various hazards that are present in a hair salon.

    With regards to examining the strengths of this blog, the fact that each hazard was clearly identified in the tips stated was a major strength as it gave me a better understanding as to what should be expected from the hairdressers themselves and what is expected from me-the client. Also, the recommendations added great value to this blog since it provided different ways on how the hazards can be spotted and avoided. These would include: the use of harsh chemicals, slip and trip, ergonomics, electrical and biological.
    Additionally, each point or section of the blog was clearly distinguished from each other as there was the use to sub-headings. This made it easier to navigate through the blog in order to understand all the information presented. Furthermore, for each sub-heading a different colour was used and I found this to be a good strategy for keeping the reader interested as the colours help to keep you visually intact with the material. Lastly, conclusion and references were well done. The general design, body and outline of the blog was excellent.

    Priya Galbaran 813000255

    Like

  12. I must say that this article was an insightful and relatable read. Kudos for keeping my attention throughout with your vibrant use of colour and pictures that helped to convey your message more effectively. I like the inclusion of the Hierarchy of Controls diagram which I could have referenced when you spoke about the different controls for the hazards.

    Since you’ve given so many tips to me, I have a few for you.

    Tip #1- Spelling- I know that in reading your blog about 100 times before you posted it, the little spelling errors may not have jumped out at you because you know what you wanted to say. This happens to us all. Simple words like “so” was written as “do” and I also remember reading “employers and employers” where it should have read “employers and employees.”

    Tip #2-Punctuation- Sometimes there were too many commas in sentences where they need not be. This broke up my thought flow a little when reading the blog.

    Tip #3- Missing out words- Similar to the spelling, when you know what your blog is supposed to say, if you miss out a word you personally won’t notice. For instance you said “wish to provide you” where it should have been “we wish to provide you.”

    My recommendation for these three “tips” is to get someone impartial to read your blog before posting. That individual may quicker pick up on these minor areas that would help you to improve your blog.

    However content-wise your article was spot on! You covered each of the hazard areas you highlighted in the introduction, gave real life examples and doable solutions. The reference to the literature was well-placed in your writing. I like how you formatted each hazard into a “tip” and then the “so what should be done” sections, breaking up the information into smaller chunks. It was much easier for me to process, especially where you reiterated your points at the end of the blog.

    Altogether this was a well-written blog. Thank you for your analyses of the potential hazards and safety measures for hair salons. I’ll be sure to look out for them the next time I go for a haircut. I’ll also be sure to point out any hazards to my hairdresser and give some recommendations if I spot a hazard.
    – Sunita N. (813001173)

    Like

  13. 816011109

    Through this blog, i start to realize the hazards of a hair salon that i didn’t think of before. I like how it clearly states the five hazards. Under each hazard, it give good tips and recommendations for both the employees and the clients. As a regular hair salon customer, I am most concerned about the chemical hazard. Table of chemical in hair salon are helpful and easy to understand how badly the hair salon chemical can affect on human health. It will be great to provide some more examples of harmful chemicals to be aware of. And the alternative of ingredient can be used instead of those toxic chemicals. Overall, it is very informative and well constructed blog.

    Like

  14. First of all I will like to say that this was an excellence blog in terms of the use of diagrams, pictures and video to help explain your point further and it was well structured because I did not get confused or lost in reading all of this information. I also liked that you had recommendations for each issue that you touched on. Sometimes when I visit a hair salon, as you open the door, a strong smell of chemicals just come straight to you and that’s because most salons do not have proper ventilation. I guess maybe its because they prefer to work in air condition rather than be in the heat seeing that some of the items they use for hair styling and so forth give out a lot of heat which can also be touched on a another hazard in salons. I find that sometimes this scent can make you leave the salon with a headache because salons also have someone doing nails and so forth and that also has a lot of chemicals in it.
    I never really thought of how the chemicals used in the salon can have a long term effect on an individual. But now as I am educated on it I will pay closer attention to the ventilation of the salon that I visit.
    Even in terms of ergonomics, the sink that the salon that i visit tends to hurt my neck when she washes my hair and I now realize that this can also pose a threat to my health in the future. I can maybe refer my hairdresser to this blog.
    The point which you touched on with hairdressers are exposing themselves to carpal tunnel syndrome, I specifically remember a make-up artist saying that she suffers with that and it never occurred to me that this is why.
    Slipping in the salon is a very important point because I always find that the floors in salons are slippery because of the hair that is on the ground and it really never struck me as a major safety issue.
    You are right when you say that these things are often overlooked as I find myself now realizing how potentially dangerous these things can be to both clients and the hairdressers.
    Hope in the future you can probably add in the dangers of the equipment which the hairdresser uses. But overall Good Job!

    Like

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