Health, safety and hygiene are of paramount importance in the workplace. Legally every place of employment must be healthy and safe for employees, clients and visitors. Failure to comply with legislation can have serious consequences including:
HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974
This promotes and encourages high standards of health and safety in the workplace. Both the employer and employees have a duty of care towards all others on the premises and therefore must provide:
If there are five or more employees then a written Health & Safety Policy is required.
The Health & Safety Executive (H.S.E.) have produced a guide to the laws on Health & Safety and an employer must display a copy of this poster in the workplace.
THE MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK REGULATIONS
The employer has to carefully assess the work environment and the activities taking place there and reduce/eliminate any risks.
THE WORKPLACE (HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE) REGULATIONS
The employer must ensure:
MANUAL HANDLING OPERATIONS REGULATIONS 1992
This legislation covers musculo-skeletal disorders primarily caused by manual handling and lifting, repetitive strain disorders and unsuitable posture causing back pain. The regulations are concerned with minimising risks from lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying & moving loads and certain measures need to be taken such as correct lifting techniques to avoid musculo-skeletal disorders.
THE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AT WORK REGULATIONS 1992
An employer must:
THE PROVISION AND USE OF WORK EQUIPMENT REGULATIONS
All equipment used in the workplace must be suitable for its purpose, staff adequately trained in its use and maintenance records kept up to date.
CONTROL OF SUBSTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH (COSHH) 1998
Regulations under the Legislation require employers to regulate employees' exposure to hazardous substances which may cause ill health or injury in the workplace and involves risk assessment. Risk assessment involves ll1aking an itemised list of all the substances used in the workplace or sold to clients which may be hazardous to health. A substance is deemed to be hazardous when it can cause harm to the body when inhaled, ingested, in contact with skin, absorbed through skin, injected into body or introduced via cuts.
Instructions for handling and disposing of all hazardous substances must be available to all staff and training provided, if required.
Manufacturers will usually supply information relating to their products and therapists should be able to recognise hazard warning symbols on labels and packaging.
ELECTRICITY AT WORK REGULATIONS 1989
Concerned with safety relating to the use of electricity. Electrical equipment should be tested at least annually by a qualified electrician or local electricity board. All checks should be listed in a record book, stating test results and recommendations and action taken in the case of defects. A record book would serve as important evidence in the case of legal action. The checks which should be made in connection with electrical equipment include checking the fusing, insulation and that there are no loose or frayed wires.
REPORTING OF INJURIES, DISEASES AND DANGEROUS OCCURRENCES REGULATIONS 1985 (RIDDOR)
Any serious injury or death in connection with an accident of an employee at work should be recorded and reported to the Local Authority Environmental Health Department within seven days. Also they must be notified of anyone off work for more than three days resulting from an accident at work, more than 24 hours in hospital, or if a specified occupational disease is certified by a doctor.
DATA PROTECTION ACT 1984
This Legislation protects clients personal information, particularly when stored electronically. If client records are stored on computer, the salon must be registered under this act.
The Data Protection Act operates to ensure that the information stored is only used for the purposes for which it was given.
Businesses must ensure that they:
SUPPLY OF GOODS & SERVICES ACT 1982
As consumers of products and services, clients have rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982. This Legislation identifies the contract of sale which takes place between the retailer (clinic/salon) and the consumer (client).
All goods supplied must do what they claim they do. (This could apply to therapy equipment or products).
The Act covers rights relating to the standards of service, in that goods and services provided should be of reasonable quality, accurately described and fit for their intended purpose. All services provided to a consumer should be carried out with reasonable skill and care, within a reasonable time and for a reasonable cost. In 1994 a new Act called The Sale & Supply of Goods Act made some amendments to previous Acts and introduced guidelines on defining the quality of goods.
CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1987
The consumer is given protection when buying goods or services to ensure that products can be safely used on the client during the treatment, or are safe to be sold as a retail product. The Act provides the same rights to anyone injured by a defective product, whether the product was sold to them or not. The Act also covers giving misleading price indications including price comparisons about goods, services or facilities.