Equipment and Facility Safety Tips That Can Minimize Your RiskAs a salon owner, you can minimize your risk by performing regular maintenance and performance checks on all equipment to ensure that frequently-used appliances are in good working order, says Sean Brownyard, executive program manager for the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance agency or SASSI. “Prevent slips and falls by clearing floors of appliance cords, spilled liquids and properly maintained floor surfaces. Provide an eye-wash station, and maintain an accessible first-aid supply kit,” he says.

Brownyard offers the following tips:

Chemical Safety

· Do not purchase bulk chemicals from companies outside the US (outside FDA control). The resulting infections can be severe.

· Read the instructions/directions that accompany the various products you use in your salon. Make sure that every employee using that product does the same.

· Ensure that employees store chemicals in their original containers with correct labels and instructions.

· If you must re-bottle bulk solutions and chemicals, be sure to label the containers, especially the dispenser bottles.

Equipment Safety

· Compile a list of all equipment, manufacturers, and receipts, if possible. Maintain this within a file, along with any warranty information, service details and other data for equipment.

· Schedule a check on the cords and plug connectors on your dryers, steamers, etc. once a month.

· Have a licensed electrician check your appliances and electrical system once a year. If your fuses blow out often, call an electrician.

· Check with your State Board or the Cosmetology Association to determine if you are covered to offer a particular service or operate a specialized piece of equipment.

· When considering the purchase of new equipment, insist on a certificate of insurance from the manufacturer. This will protect your business from potential claims if the machine malfunctions.

· Perform bi-annual reviews on all equipment and furniture and maintain records on the proper working condition and stability of each.

· Confirm that your salon’s water temperature reaches no more than 120 degrees (the water heater may be lowered to accommodate this; ask your utility service provider or plumber for details).

Facility Safety

· Create an eye-wash station, and maintain an accessible basic first-aid supply kit in your facility.

· Be sure to clean up all liquid spills (water, lotions, oils, etc.) on the floor immediately. Use caution signs if floor is still wet.

· Provide non-skid footwear (sandals/booties) to patrons.

· Wash and wax floors before or after business hours; never when opened for business.

· Remove wax from floors regularly.

· Rinse floors completely before applying wax.

· Avoid excessive buffing on newly waxed floors.

· Replace broken tiles, worn-out linoleum and damaged wooden floors.

· Be sure to secure tables (i.e. massage tables/beds) to the floor (i.e. no rollers/wheels on the bottom of the tables).

· Check all furniture and fixtures every month. Keep them in good repair, tighten loose fittings securely, replacing worn parts when needed.

· Keep all cords off the floors and clear of the passageways.

Equipment and Facility Safety Tips That Can Minimize Your RiskSean Brownyard is Executive Program Manager of SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance agency (www.sassiagency.com). Formerly known as the Hairdresser’s Agency, SASSI is a division of W.H. Brownyard Corp. and has provided specialized liability coverage for more than 85 years. SASSI serves salons, day spas, electrologists, beauty schools and barber shops. Sean can be reached at sbrownyard@brownyard.com or 631-666-5050.