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Barbering Health & Safety Law


Health and Safety laws



As a Barber YOU are responsible for the health and safety of your business and its clients. The health and safety laws are designed to ensure you are working in a safe environment and that you reduce any risks to yourself, your staff and your clients.

By law you must do the following:

  • Manage health and safety in the salon (or appoint someone else to oversee it)

  • Have a health and safety policy, which must be in written form if you have five or more employees.

  • Manage and reduce - where possible - the risks in the salon, which must be in written form if you have five or more employees.

  • Advise, consult, train and inform any staff on health and safety.

  • Provide appropriate welfare facilities (eg, toilet, washing facilities, drinking water etc)

  • Ensure the working environment is safe and healthy (eg, good ventilation, temperature etc)

  • Ensure you have an accident book, first aid kit, Sharps box for used razor blades and sterilising equipment.

  • Display the Health and Safety poster.

  • Ensure everyone is aware of the fire procedures.

  • Ensure you have suitable insurance cover ( Get advice from your insurance supplier and make are you are covered for all aspects connected with your business)

  • Keep up to date with any changes to the law.

Health and Safety Legislations


There are many health and safety legislations that are applicable to our industry:


The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPE)

  • Employers are responsible for providing suitable PPE

·         In the average barbershop, PPE will include: gloves, gowns, towels & aprons


The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation 1992 (COSHH)

  • Employers must control exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace

  • Everyone should be aware of how to store, handle, use and dispose of these products

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

  • These regulations require that certain measures must be taken when manual handling and lifting to avoid skeletal and muscular injuries

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

  • RIDDOR places a legal duty to report:

  • Work related deaths

  • Major injuries or over 7 day injuries

  • Work related diseases (eg, dermatitis)

  • Dangerous occurrences (near miss accidents)

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

  • All electrical equipment must be regularly (preferably annually) checked for electrical safety

  • The check must be carried out by a “competent person”, preferably a qualified electrician and is called PAT testing

The Fire Precautions Act 1971

  • A ‘responsible person’ should carry out a fire risk assessment and ensure that precautions are implemented based on the results

  • As a result of the assessment, there must be a policy in place which aims to minimise the risk of fire, reduce the spread of any fire, provide means of escape and take preventative action


Data Protection Act 1998

  • You must keep information secure

  • You must ensure information is accurate and relevant to your needs

  • You must comply with individual’s requests for information that you are holding

Health and Safety at Work Act ACT 1974 (HASAWA)

Before 1974 approximately 8 million employees had no legal safety protection at work. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides the legal framework to promote, stimulate and encourage high standards of health and safety in places of work. It protects employees and the public from work activities.

Everyone has a duty to comply with the Act, including employers, employees, trainees, self-employed, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, importers of work equipment.

Employers' responsibilities

The Act places a general duty to 'ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees'.

Employers must comply with the Act. They must:

  • provide and maintain safety equipment and safe systems of work

  • ensure materials used are properly stored, handled, used and transported

  • provide information, training, instruction and supervision - ensure staff are aware of instructions provided by manufacturers and suppliers of equipment

  • provide a safe place of employment

  • provide a safe working environment

  • provide a written safety policy/risk assessment

  • look after the health and safety of others, for example the public

  • talk to safety representatives

An employer is forbidden to charge his or her employees for any measures which he or she is required to provide in the interests of health and safety (for example, personal protective equipment).

Employees’ responsibilities

Employees have specific responsibilities too - they must:

  • take care of their own health and safety and that of other persons (employees may be liable)

  • co-operate with their employers

  • not interfere with anything provided in the interest of health and safety


Enforcement of Health and Safety legislation

For your type of business the Local Authority Environmental Health Officer  will be your enforcement officer. For manufacturing or large construction or industrial sites the Health and Safety Executive carries out inspections.

The powers of an inspector include:

  • rights of entry at reasonable times (without appointments)

  • right to investigate and examine

  • right to dismantle equipment and take substances or equipment

  • right to see documents and take copies

  • right to assistance (from colleagues or Police)

  • right to ask questions under caution

  • right to seize articles or substances in cases of imminent danger


Enforcement actions

  •  .Legal Notices - Written document requires person to do/stop doing something.

  • Improvement: say what is wrong and how to put right within a set time.

  • Prohibition: prohibits use of equipment/unsafe practices immediately.

  •  Prosecution - Both employers and employees face prosecution

  • Unlimited fines

  • Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years in Crown Court

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