Preventing Beauty Salon Injuries
Standing on your feet for extended periods of time every day can have a negative effect on your body over time. When you hold a fixed position, engage in repetitive movements and fail to wear proper footwear, you risk major damage to your body. These safety tips will help you with preventing beauty salon injuries.
How to Prevent Beauty Salon Injuries
The following are some of the most common injuries suffered by those in the cosmetology industry:
- Poor working postures—Examples include having your back bent or twisted to wash hair, arms out to the side while giving a massage or shoulders raised while giving a trim.
- Repetitious movements over a long period of time—Examples include prolonged sitting or standing while performing services, filing nails and applying hair color for a long period of time.
- Carrying heavy loads—Examples include holding a heavy blow dryer away from your body or moving a large box of products from one area to another.
- Individualized factors—Examples include wearing shoes with a heel that does not provide adequate support or not taking short breaks to let the body recuperate.
Solutions for Beauty Salon Injuries
- Give yourself enough room around furniture and equipment to move about freely.
- Use an adjustable chair to avoid working with your arms above your shoulders.
- Place tools and styling products within reach and at waist height.
- Work as close the client as possible to avoid excessive bending and reaching.
- Alternate between tasks to give your muscles a rest. For instance, cut hair, then sweep, then fold towels.
Take a short break every hour to stretch out your muscle
Understanding Chemical Hazards and Beauty Salon Injuries
Though the beauty industry is all about glamour, there are real hazards for those who choose a career in cosmetology. In fact, exposure to certain chemicals can increase the risk of serious health conditions. Potentially dangerous products include the following:
- Hair dyes and bleaches
- Permanent wave solutions
- Hair styling agents
- Nail and skin care products
- Straightening products
- Brow and lash tints
- Chemical peels
- Wax solvents
- Disinfectants in cleaning products
Unprotected exposure to these chemicals can cause the following reactions:
Dermatitis—This general term refers to inflammation of the skin; however, it can signify either an irritant reaction to chemicals or a more serious allergic reaction.
Asthma—Chemicals common in hairdressing and nail services may aggravate pre-existing asthmatic conditions or even cause occupational asthma.
Cancer—Though there is limited data to support this claim, some products used in the cosmetology industry are suspected to cause cancer.
Hazardous chemicals can enter the body through the skin, through inhalation or by swallowing. Generally, eye and throat irritation will begin immediately upon exposure, sometimes followed by other potentially dangerous reactions. Not everyone will develop a negative reaction to cosmetology products. The following factors affect how you will react:
- Toxicity of the substance
- Amount of the substance that you are exposed to
- Length of exposure
- Frequency of exposure
- Route of entry into the body
Assess Your Beauty Salon Injury Risks
Read the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all chemicals that you work with on the job. These sheets provide information on how to properly handle, store and discard potentially hazardous chemicals.
The SDS also provides information on what to do if you or a co-worker is has a bad reaction to a chemical. Read and understand each SDS, and ask your supervisor for clarification if you do not understand the directions.
Always wear protective clothing, such as gloves and aprons, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling hazardous chemicals.
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