Spas are required by law to adhere to a certain set of health and safety requirements. There are a lot of regulations that they need to comply with, both for the health and safety of spa goers, spa therapists and anyone else who works at a spa. These include but are not limited to: - The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. - Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002. - Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004.
Spas are required to have a number of written protocols and procedures in place. These may include: - A health and safety policy - Emergency action plan procedures, e.g. evacuation - Employers insurance - Risk assessment records - Equipment service and maintenance records - Accident and incident report book - Client records, including emergency contact details - Staff records – DBS, application information, copies of certificates, record of continuing professional development (CPD)
These are then underpinned by checks and inspections from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and the local authorities for actions such as workplace inspections, employer guidance and investigations of complaints or accidents by working in collaboration with the health and safety commission (HSC). Spas are also required to have high levels of insurance which could be invalidated if they do not adhere to health and safety procedures.
It’s not just a question of what’s required by law however. Spa environments are all about providing care and support for guests. Therapists by nature are fundamentally nurturing individuals who want to provide the best for their clients. With this in mind, their training invariably involves levels of risk management, in accordance with the type of treatment you are having. That includes taking infection control into consideration.
Jennifer Young, who is an expert therapist training, specialising in oncology touch treatments in particular, discussed it at length in her Guide to Cross Infection Control last year.Guide to Cross Infection Control
Actions required and undertaken by spas
- Spas are required to undertake health and safety risk assessments.
- Steam rooms and other wet facilities are cleaned with disinfectant bleach regularly and daily.
- All surfaces, including door handles and light switches, are regularly sprayed and cleaned with anti-bacterial disinfectant spray.
- All equipment that is not single use, such as manicure and pedicure equipment and treatment beds are sterilised after each use.
- Single use equipment is responsibly disposed of.
- All towels and robes are laundered after each use.
- Anti-bacterial hand wash and sanitiser gel is provided to all our team members.
- Anti-bacterial hand wash or sanitiser gel is readily available for all customers to use during their stay along with the ability to wash their hands with soap and water.
- Appropriate ventilation is in place.
- Personal Protective Equipment 2002 (PPE) PPE regulations require the provision of appropriate protective clothing and equipment - such as gloves or plastic gowns where necessary.
- Staff are given regular and ongoing training to support up to date treatment protocols as well as health and safety procedures.
Responsibilities for staff and spas
- Working hygienically with the use of clean towels, sterilised tools and equipment
- Follow workplace and suppliers’ or manufacturers’ instructions for the safe use of equipment, materials and products
- Prepare and protect self, client and service area in accordance with spa requirements
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment for self and client, e.g. the client’s own clothes must be fully protected with gown and towels during treatments.
- Remain alert to risks and hazards throughout the service and understand how this may affect services – spillages, obstacles, obstructions, broken equipment and trailing wires.
- Ensure that the service area is clean and tidy throughout the service.
- Adopt the correct methods of waste disposal – dilute chemicals with running water, recycling and environmental protection
- Prevent contact dermatitis – wear gloves when using chemicals, wash and dry hands thoroughly and use moisturiser/barrier cream.