Bloodborne Pathogens in the Beauty Salon

The beauty industry is known for its wide range of potential hazards, from chemicals to sharp objects. When it comes to protecting your staff and customers from occupational health and safety (OHS) risks, you need to be aware of the unique dangers posed by specific salon activities. In this article, we will look at some common sources of bloodborne pathogens in a professional beauty salon setting and how best to protect yourself and your clients from them.

Understand the risks

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious agents that can be transmitted from one person to another through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. They include:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Most people infected with a bloodborne pathogen do not know it because they have no symptoms. Some people develop flu-like symptoms and feel sick for several weeks or months before their bodies fight off the infection on their own. Others may have no signs at all, but pass on the disease to others through blood transfusions or organ transplants without knowing they have been infected themselves.

Educate your staff

You should be training your staff on the health and safety risks associated with bloodborne pathogens. You can use this information to inform them of what they need to do to protect themselves, as well as their customers.

You'll want to make sure that you include the following in your training program:

  • Who needs training? All employees who work with clients and/or customers who may have bloodborne pathogens on them (e.g., nail technicians). This includes those who assist with manicures, pedicures, facials, or waxing services.
  • What should be included in the training? Staff must know how to recognize when there is a risk of exposure; how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) properly; what steps should be taken if an incident occurs; where PPE can be stored safely; how often it needs replacing; etcetera...
  • How often should it be repeated? At least once per year or whenever there are significant changes made within the salon environment such as adding new services or machines that could increase risk factors for exposure

Follow  standards

The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. The standard applies to all workplaces that have employees who come into contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

The most important part of this regulation is that employers must provide training on how to protect themselves from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs). This means that salon owners must ensure their staff members are adequately trained before they begin working on clients who may carry these diseases. Salon owners should also enforce strict handwashing policies and make sure all tools used during services are disinfected after each use.

Use a disinfectant that kills HIV, Hepatitis B, and C

When choosing a disinfectant, make sure it's EPA-approved and safe for use on the skin. It should kill HIV, Hepatitis B, and C. It's also important to check the label for ingredients like ammonia or bleach that could cause allergic reactions in clients.

If you're cleaning makeup brushes or other tools with disinfectant, follow these steps:

  • Wipe down surfaces with 70% alcohol before using them on clients' faces so they don't pick up any germs from the previous client
  • Cleanse tools thoroughly after each use (like tweezers) by dipping them into hot water mixed with 1 tablespoon of liquid soap or detergent per quart of water

Keep equipment clean

  • Clean all equipment after each client.
  • Use a disinfectant that kills HIV, Hepatitis B and C.
  • Disinfectants should be used on surfaces that come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids (like floors). This includes salon chairs, treatment tables, and sinks/vanity areas where you wash your hands.

Use disposable towels to limit contact with blood and other bodily fluids

Disposable towels are a good way to reduce the risk of infection. They can be used to clean up blood and other bodily fluids and then thrown away after use. Disposable towels are less likely to spread infection than reusable cloths because they're not being reused between clients.

Choose disposable towels that will not rip or shred when you use them on clients with sensitive skin, as this could cause pain for your client. The most effective disposable towels are those that can be put in an autoclave for sterilization--this process uses heat and pressure to kill all germs on the surface of objects being sterilized; however, some chemicals used in disposable towels may harm the environment if disposed of improperly (for example by flushing them down the toilet).

The right prevention strategies can prevent illness in salon clients and staff.

The right prevention strategies can prevent illness in salon clients and staff.

It is important to understand the risks, educate staff on bloodborne pathogens, follow  standards, and use a disinfectant that kills HIV, Hepatitis B, and C. This will help you keep equipment clean as well as limit contact with blood or other bodily fluids while reducing transmission of infectious diseases.

Use disposable towels to limit contact with blood or other bodily fluids by using them once per client and then disposing of them immediately after use.


The beauty industry is an important part of our economy, and it offers many opportunities for people to earn a living. But the risks associated with working in salons can be serious if they're not properly managed. Employers should understand how they can protect their staff from exposure to bloodborne viruses and other infectious diseases. This includes educating employees on how to avoid potentially dangerous situations like cuts or burns while using sharp instruments like scissors or clippers around clients who may have open wounds on their heads or bodies; following standards when cleaning equipment; using disposable towels instead of cloth ones; and washing hands regularly with soap as well as disinfecting surfaces in order to kill any germs left behind after each client leaves your salon chair.


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