The use of tanning beds has gotten negative press over the last few years, but in reality, overexposure to UV rays indoors or outdoors is dangerous. Increased exposure increases your risk of various skin conditions, so it is important to educate your customers on how to tan safely. Not only will this protect them, but it can also protect you from potential lawsuits. In situations where tanning is offered, it is especially important to carry insurance to protect your business.
While having a golden tan can be appealing, it is caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The dangers of over-tanning opens in a new window are caused by the skin cell damage that happens when you have too much exposure to these harmful UV rays. Tanners may end up with wrinkles, brown spots, and sagging skin, which are all signs of premature aging. More severely, over-tanning can lead to skin cancer. Melanoma is a potentially fatal form of cancer that has been on the rise partially due to more people over-tanning in indoor tanning beds.
Despite the risks, there are still many people who enjoy using indoor tanning beds. If spray tanning isn’t an option for them to receive their golden-brown look, you can give them some tips to tan safely indoors.
First, tanners should always wear eye protection while using a tanning bed. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration requires it. Tanning salons are required to supply tanning goggles for their customers to use. If a customer doesn’t use the eye protection supplied, you should ask to see their eye protection before they enter the tanning bed to ensure it is being used.
Using tanning beds with a timer is an excellent way to ensure customers aren’t over-tanning. If you can, use the type that allows employees to set the minutes from the front desk, which prevents customers from putting too many minutes on the timer. If that’s not possible, then be sure the timer has a limit that isn’t too high. Also, instruct your employees to keep track of who is in each bed and how long they have been in there, just as an added safety measure. Be sure that each new customer knows where the power safety shut off is located on the tanning bed they are using.
Keep your customers informed of the bulb wattage used in your tanning beds. Higher wattage requires lower tanning times. New bulbs are stronger than old bulbs, so do your best to keep bulbs updated in your beds.
A waiver that states the tanning risks should be presented to all new customers. They should also be informed of the symptoms they may experience that would require them to stop tanning. These symptoms include dizziness, weakness, or sickness. The document should lay out the medical conditions that are made worse by tanning such as lupus, diabetes, and herpes, and the medications that may have an adverse reaction to tanning. Customers should sign the waiver only if they understand the risks.
Even if you inform your customers of every possible risk, you meet all of the required safety measures, and you regularly maintain your tanning beds, something could go wrong that’s out of your control. Unfortunately, these things happen, and your customers may use the mishap as an opportunity to take legal action against you. Being sued could cause you serious financial hardships or possibly the loss of your business. The best way to protect yourself from a damaging lawsuit is to insure your business. An insurance policy opens in a new window should be purchased as soon as you open or start your business.
One instance of something going wrong is the story of the man from Regina, Canada, who was trapped in a tanning bed that started on fire. He sued for physical injuries as well as emotional damages and claimed that the staff did nothing to help him. It is unlikely that one of your tanning beds would start on fire, but you should be prepared for anything. Some examples of ways things could go awry in a less extreme way would be faulty bulbs, broken acrylic, malfunctioning timers, or a stuck lock.
In most instances, as long as your customers sign a comprehensive waiver that states they are aware of the risks of tanning, and you keep your guidelines and information updated, you should be protected in most instances. However, things could unexpectedly go wrong, and in those cases, it is in your best interest to have an insurance policy to protect you from potentially devastating lawsuits. Check out Marine Agency’s policies today if you are in need of insurance coverage for your business.