Subject: OSHA

What? The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. In the case of skincare OSHA sets the standards for potential exposure to blood borne pathogens, use and access to sterilization and sanitation equipment and products, training, vaccinations and personal protective equipment. All skin care professionals should practice Standard/Universal Precautions with clients. OSHA is responsible for enforcing the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970. It applies to all industries. It makes sure that all employees work in safe and healthy work places. OSHA provides training, education and assistance. An employee can file a complaints with OSHA and they will conduct a workplace inspection.

Why? (History) Congress established the agency under the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. OSHA’s is in place to make sure there are safe working conditions for men and women. They set and enforce standards, provide training, education and help with regulations.

How does it relate to the skin? These regulations include limits on chemical exposure. Employee must have access to information, requirements for the use of personal protective equipment, and for safety procedures. With many skincare procedures there is always the potential for exposure to blood borne pathogens transmitted to and from the client. Standard/Universal Precautions keeps both employees and the public safe.

Where does it typically occur? OSHA issues new health and safety standards. Some of the dangers are exposure to formaldehyde in hair and nail products. OSHA makes sure that employees are made aware of the dangers they are exposed to and make sure employers provide their employees training to reduce exposure, offer medical attention, and test the air quality from time to time

When? (Implications) OSHA is responsible for enforcing its standards where they carry out inspections and issue fines for regulatory violations. Inspections are planned for work sites in various different industries. Inspections can also result when there are workplace incidents and worker complaints. Salon owners can request information so they remain in compliance with workplace safety laws. Employees can get information if they feel their health and safety is threatened by unsafe working conditions.

Who benefits from this? Certain workplaces are exempt from OSHA inspections because they are out of the scope of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. They are regulated by other agencies. Employees and the public benefit from a safe salon environment. OSHA also offers advice on how to reduce the incidents of contact dermatitis and how to avoid lung damage from certain chemicals used in the spa. OSHA benefits people who work in the beauty industry from unsafe conditions by making them aware of some of the chemicals they may be exposed to. Some of these businesses are salons that offer hair care, manicures, and pedicures.

What causes this? OSHA as responsible for enforcing these laws, regardless of their relationship to occupational safety and health matters. Safety information is provided for free as well as inspections. In the case of the beauty industries they want to eliminate incidents of contact dermatitis and respiratory problems for workers and clients

How? Solutions (Mechanical / Machines) They set and enforce standards and provide training, education and assistance with regulations with machines. If the air quality is being affected by the use of chemicals, OSHA can make sure employers maintain better ventilation systems to filter the air and remove toxins.

How? Solutions Non Mechanical) Many states have occupational safety and health plans. OSHA makes sure that companies and their employees receive proper training and education. It is important to all workers to educate themselves on OSHA and understand their rights to the health and safety of their work environment. The benefits of OSHA are that it protects all employees by enforcing standards in order to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. OSHA provides workplace safety plans and posters for employers and their employees. They do safety inspections of workplaces and ensure that employees understand how to handle equipment and chemicals in a safe way and have proper protective wear like gloves and masks.

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