Personal services settings are businesses that provide services like manicures, pedicures, nail treatments, waxing, facials, hair design, tattoos, piercings, acupuncture, tanning beds, micro pigmentation, electrolysis and laser hair removal.
The Northwestern Health Unit annually inspects personal service settings and inspectors check equipment and review records and infection control measures in place to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Inspections are intended to educate operators, identify potential risks to customers, and confirm that infection control measures are appropriate to protect customers at the time of inspection.
Inspection and education are important, but customers can protect themselves by being aware of the measures that should be in place to prevent spread of diseases, and operators should be able to explain their practices to a consumer.
What do you need to know to stay safe?
Tools that do not break the skin or touch the eyes, mouth or genital area should always be cleaned between clients (e.g. combs, hair brushes).
Tools that are not meant to break the skin, but might come in contact with blood or touch eyes, mouth or genital areas must be properly disinfected (e.g. hook to pull hair through a highlighting cap, some pedicure tools).
Tools that are intended to break the skin or to touch eyes, mouth or genital areas must be either single use, or sterilized between clients.
Public health inspectors can provide much more detailed information to personal service consumers about risks with specific tools and procedures.
What to expect from your service provider
Your service provider should:
Wash their hands between clients and after any breaks.
Cover any open cuts or wounds on their hands.
Be able to tell you and show you how they clean, disinfect, sterilize or dispose of their tools.
Be a smart consumer
Be aware that there is always some risk involved in personal services and the level of risk increases when your skin is intentionally broken. You should know about the risks related to a service before getting it done, and if you are not comfortable with the risk or the setting, don't get the service.
Avoid being a risk to others: if you have an infection of any kind, think about how it might spread to others and talk to the service provider before getting the service.
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