While you may not think that working in a hair salon is particularly hazardous, risks still exist. Without adequate awareness and risk management, your staff could still suffer workplace injuries.
Should one of your team suffer an accident and subsequent injury at work, you could face expensive compensation claims under the employer's liability section of your Hairdressing Insurance policy.
On-the-job accidents can be avoided by focusing on safe practices and taking necessary and sensible precautions.
Typically, workplace accidents are a result of an unsafe act or working condition. For example, a worker slips on a wet floor and injures their ankle – an accident caused by the unsafe act of not putting up a wet floor warning sign or leaving water on the floor.
Or, a customer could trip over a hairdryer cable, and that would be the result of an unsafe condition.
In both instances, the accident could have been prevented by following proper safety precautions.
Understanding your Risk
It is firstly important to understand what causes accidents, this will enable you to plan correctly in terms of how you can avoid them.
While it is almost impossible to list all the various hazards you may encounter in your individual salon, typical ones include:
- Injuries caused by waste, or spills that are not cleaned up
- Damaged equipment or tools of the trade
- Misuse of business equipment or electronic machines
- Employee/management tomfoolery
- Accidents due to customer behaviour
Be Vigilant and Consistent on Safety
The first step in terms of keeping both yourself and your workforce safe is to stay vigilant on the job and do not allow routine or familiarity to develop into carelessness.
Best practice is to always observe safety precautions before, and during a task, even if those precautions make the task more inconvenient or take longer to complete. While cutting corners may not seem like a big deal to some staff members, such as leaving a spillage to a cleaner, doing so is a primary cause of workplace accidents.
Ask your staff to increase awareness and knowledge of all areas and situations that are more prone to hazardous conditions, while encouraging them to be on the lookout for anything unsafe.
If they see a customer, or potentially their children, behaving unsafely or committing an unsafe act, they should inform the customer and explain how to safely correct his / her behaviour.
They cannot control how customers act, but staff can be vigilant for unsafe situations and attempt to make them safer.
Safety Best Practice
The key for business owners or managers is understanding all elements of each job, the greater your understanding, the easier it is to spot risk and the safer you will be.
Knowing the proper procedures and safety precautions for each task, and question your workforce on a regular basis, they are often best placed to spot or highlight hazards.
Practice What You Preach
The best and most proactive business owners lead from the front.
A good way to start this is to follow all safety rules at all times, developing a concise health and safety and risk management programme while also demonstrating model behaviour.
By developing and promoting a safe attitude, you will keep your salon safe and manage your Hairdressing Insurance costs effectively.
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