10 tips for spa safety

If you’re a spa owner or manager, you understand the importance of keeping both customers and employees safe. Besides costing your spa business, ignoring important safety practices can cause health problems, legal liabilities and a host of other issues. 

Your spa is required to comply with federal and state regulations regarding worker safety, hygiene and cleanliness. To avoid landing your spa in hot water, follow these 10 tips for safety in the spa.

Manage, Clean and Store Your Tools

Place all used tools and equipment immediately in a container labeled “soiled tools.” Clean the used tools every day with an approved cleaning solution. This rule goes for any spa clothing — cloths and towels too. Once cleaned, store the tools and equipment in clean, clearly labeled containers. These containers should only be used for tools, not pens, markers or paper.

Understand the Difference Between Disinfection and Sterilization

Disinfection is a surface treatment intended to kill microorganisms that can cause disease. Equipment and surfaces should be wiped down with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectant after each client. Sterilization destroys all microbial life. An autoclave should be used between treatments to kill off bacteria, fungi, spores, and viruses. Be sure to check your state guidelines to ensure you are properly disinfecting and sterilizing.

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Consider Spa Design

Your spa’s design should provide customers and workers with a pleasant, functional space. It also needs proper ventilation and utilities. For example, you should install two sets of air vents: one to bring in air, and one to expel it. The latter ensures fumes from treatments and cleaning agents do not pervade and sit in the room. Each treatment room also needs adequate electrical outlets to accommodate equipment and computers.

Insist on Hygiene

Gloves and handwashing are part of the proper safety precautions for massage therapy, styling and skin treatments. Workers who may come into contact with blood, mucous or other bodily fluids must wear gloves and dispose of them properly.

Use Disposable Items

Single-use items help prevent contamination and protect customers. From paper towels to hairbands, cotton pads, gloves, makeup sponges and tissues, single-use items need to be disposed of in sealable bags.

Post the Rules and Laws

Employers are required to post certain items about worker safety, and also must display the components of any in-use chemicals at the facility. Safety data sheets contain important information about every skin-care product and cleaning solution. Make sure these rules and laws are visible and easy to find in your space!

Know Your Hot Tub Safety Rules

Be sure to monitor your hot tubs to maintain the proper pH levels, and keep an adequate amount of sanitizer in the water. You have a clearly visible hot tub safety rules sign that notes that people with certain medical conditions should avoid the tub, that glass and ceramic containers are prohibited, and any requirements for customers before and after using.

Adhere to Nail Safety Guidelines

Spa employees should not work on any customer with obvious signs of nail fungus. They should use clean tools to remove skin callouses, and push back cuticles instead of cutting them.

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Sharpen Your Pencils

Makeup professionals should sharpen and wipe down all makeup pencils before and after working on each client. Items used on a customer’s nose, mouth, face or mouth should be discarded or disinfected.

Do Not Double-Dip When Waxing

During hair removal procedures, skin is much more vulnerable, making infections more likely. Proper hygiene is important during waxing or other procedures. While wax is hot, is not hot enough to kill microorganisms. Employees should wash their hands with hot water and liquid antibacterial soap after each customer.

In summary, your spa should focus on safety in the following areas:

  • Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing equipment and surfaces
  • Ventilation and spa design
  • Employee hygiene
  • Providing safety information to employees and customers
  • Services provided, including hot tubs, nail care, makeup and hair removal

A Bonus Tip: Make Sure Your Spa Business Is Protected

Marine Agency Insurance specializes in providing business insurance for day spas, salons, laser treatment operators and medical spas. For more than 4 decades, our expertise and industry knowledge has helped our clients stay protected. To make sure your spa business is properly insured and covered, contact us today.


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