Nail salon workers spend their days in a sterile environment, but they are not always safe from the dangers that lurk outside. Nails can be an occupational hazard for nail technicians because of exposure to chemicals and fumes. The use of formaldehyde has been linked to cancer among other things. Regulations have been put into place by the New York State Department of Labor to protect these workers from the risks associated with this type of work. In this article, we will discuss regulations that have been put in place to protect nail salon workers.
To work in a nail salon, an individual must obtain a license. This can be done by completing one of the training programs sponsored by the New York State Department of Labor or completing some classes at your local cosmetology school. The courses cover topics such as state laws and regulations surrounding the practice of nail technology, infection control, first aid procedures, and what to do in case of emergencies.
The city of New York has its own set of regulations to protect nail salon workers. Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 142 into effect in April 2010. This particular law requires all nail salons to provide protective gear, including gloves, masks, goggles, or face shields, for employees who are exposed to potentially harmful chemicals daily. The use of these items will be required beginning October 2010. Another section of the law states that workers will have access to handwashing facilities which must include an adequate supply of soap and water.
Personal Protective Equipment
Nail technicians should be provided with their kits containing personal protective equipment such as latex or non-latex gloves and dust masks if they work near fumes from gels or other chemicals. All nail salons must also provide a sink or basin for washing hands and a hand-washing station with an adequate supply of soap and water.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
Nails salons should have well-defined emergency evacuation procedures in the case of fire, illness, injury, or other emergencies that could pose health dangers to employees. These procedures should be posted near the telephone and first aid kit as well as on the wall near where customers walk in. The plan must include contact information for local fire departments and hospitals as well as how to shut off gas lines if necessary.
In addition, nail salons must have a first-aid kit with specific items such as cotton swabs, cotton balls, bandages, antiseptic surgical scrub, triangular bandages, or crepe bandages for sprains or other injuries that could occur. The use of illegal drugs is not tolerated in this industry and an employee who is found under the influence will not be allowed to work until they are deemed sober enough.
Nail salons must schedule their employees to work a maximum of 6 days in a row and 48 hours in any 7 days while abiding by the current New York State Labor Law. Workers can’t be forced to work more than 12 hours a day and they must have at least one day off each week. This law also limits workers’ weekly hours to no more than 40 without overtime pay. The nail salon owner is responsible for alerting the worker when they must take their legal rest break, which is 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked.
Nail salon owners must abide by the regulations put in place to keep nail salon workers safe from harm. If you own a salon, make sure that your employees are aware of these rules and inspect their equipment before they use it. Most importantly, work with a reputable insurance agency for all your business needs.