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An Evaluation of Health and Safety Management Practices in the Hairdressing Industry


This evaluation, coming from outside the Industry, identifies areas of concern. Responsibility for accepting and actioning the Recommendations should be taken and owned by the Industry.

The Department of Labour's role should be mainly that of a facilitator.

Equipment design and selection

Ban the use of disposable Latex gloves in the Hairdressing Industry and require labelling to include the safety and health risks.

Ensure that trainees only buy offset scissors at the beginning of their career.

The Industry should use hydraulic cylinder chairs that can be raised and lowered with the client in the chair.

Develop a dryer that allows the use of either hand in a variety of positions, has low weight and a low noise level.

Criteria and advice should be developed for the selection and purchase of all equipment including:

Salon Design

Develop model designs brief for new salons and when renovating existing salons.


Develop and adopt a 'good practice' technique for:

Develop a fitness and exercise programme.

Work Organisation

Develop a Code of Practice for staff conditions including hours of work and breaks. The Code should be included in the employment agreement.


Review the objectives of HITO.

Review the knowledge content of the safety and health training material with the introduction of Unit Standard 20929.

Develop a more effective way to communicate the essential information from MSD Sheets.

Review the gap between taught techniques and techniques in the salons.

This should include basic knowledge of human anatomy and motor control in relation to MSD in the hairdressing industry

The Big Picture

Develop a Strategic Safety Plan for the Industry including the ethos and concept of "We Care"

Work towards a single Beauty Care Industry.

Encourage Product suppliers to take a more active role in coaching clients in the safe use of products.

Provide Career advisers with safety and health information particularly regarding dermatitis.

Develop the teaching skills of those who provide training in the salons.

Undertake a continuing training programme for qualified hairdressers particularly in 'good practice' techniques.

To include recognition of 'good practice' techniques in the Competition programme.

Revise the Guide to Occupational Safety and Health for the Hairdressing Industry.

Develop a Code of Practice to meet at least the Ministry of Health's future requirements for Nail Bar services. This could be in conjunction with a Code of Practice for the Nail and Beauty Therapy Industries or for the overall Beauty Care services industry.

Further study

Conduct research to compare the risk of chemical allergies from organic and standard products.

Undertake a study of the factors affecting the incidence of dermatitis in salons.

Undertake a study on the selection and availability in New Zealand of gloves for hairdressers.

Develop an anthropometric database for the Industry.

Review the gap between taught techniques and techniques in the salons.

Conduct research to compare the risk of chemical allergies from organic and standard products.


Develop a saloon procedure for the treatment of discomfort and the early treatment of pain.

Develop a procedure for the treatment of chronic pain. For those who have had pain for years.

Develop an accident register form for the hairdressing Industry that includes discomfort and pain as well as injuries and harm.