Tattoo artists are required by law to follow specific regulations. In particular, tattoo studios are required to abide by the standards and rules established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opens in a new window as well as the health and safety requirements of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). However, following all of these rules down to the very last letter has the potential to prove challenging. Furthermore, it is easy to forget some of the nuances of these rules. In short, there is a risk in providing and receiving tattoos yet posting warning signs alone will not suffice. Let’s take a look at nine safe tattoo practices that will help keep your tattoo studio safe.
Wear the Right Protective Equipment
Tattoo artists should don the proper equipment when inking customers’ bodies. Every tattoo artist in the studio should wear a face shield, goggles, gloves, and barrier gowns. These barriers guard against contact with customers’ bodily fluids opens in a new window.
Don’t use Protective Equipment Over and Over
Tattooing safely is dependent on using the right protective equipment. However, some protective equipment is single-use only. As an example, barrier gowns and gloves should be changed after each customer is inked. Otherwise, there is the potential for blood from one customer to be transmitted to another and so on.
Properly Clean Non-Disposable Instruments and Devices
It is a mistake to put non-disposable instruments and devices to the side only to pick them right back up when another customer gets inked. All non-disposable instruments and devices must be scrubbed with soapy hot water. Furthermore, once these instruments and devices are scrubbed, they are to be sterilized within an autoclave, fully ensuring they will not contaminate subsequent customers.
Each Artist Should Have a Distinct Workspace and Equipment
It is a mistake to let several tattoo artists share equipment, cabinets, work tables, or chairs. Each tattoo artist should have his or her own specific equipment, work table, chair, etc. Furthermore, each artist should have his or her own respective cabinets for dyes, instruments, and single-use articles.
All chairs and work tables must be fully sanitized after a client gets inked. However, any old sanitizer will not suffice. A bactericidal solution must be used to ensure the space is completely clean.
Use Single-Use Gloves
Tattoo artists should not use the same gloves over and over. Rather, single-use gloves that are completely clean should be within arm’s length at all times. These gloves should be changed after each client is served. Furthermore, if the glove is cut or punctured, it must be changed out. Gloves that have been used should be placed in a hazardous waste bin or thrown away.
Mind Those Needles
A sterile, completely new needle should be used for each client receiving a tattoo at your studio.
Paper Stencils and Markers are Single-use Only
The markers employed to draw tattoo designs on clients’ skin should be single-use. Furthermore, all paper stencils should also be single-use. Be sure to dispose of paper stencils immediately after use in a hazardous bin.
Clean Acetate Stencils Properly
If your tattoo studio uses acetate stencils, they cannot be simply washed off and subsequently reused. Rather, these stencils should be sterilized with an antibacterial solution after every single use.
- Maintaining a clean tattoo studio takes time, effort, and commitment
- Maintaining a clean studio is beneficial to both in-house artists as well as customers
- Print out this list of tattoo studio safety tips and post it in your studio
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