Infection Control—An Increasingly Hot Topic, Part 2
By Ultronics, Advertorial
Disease-causing organisms don’t have feet and legs. They can’t travel on their own. They need someone or something to move them from place to place or person to person. Infection control in salons has become increasingly important because of the ease germ and bacteria transfer from place to place on items you routinely use. Bacterial strains such as M.R.S.A. have a high transfer potential. They live on the skin and spread through direct skin contact, and more often through others’ hands. This is why handwashing is extremely important. M.R.S.A. is also spread through towels, clothing, equipment, and anything else that comes into contact with the infected person. Here are some other ways in which different germs and bacteria can easily be transferred:
Hairstylist and Barber
- Openings in Scalp
- Clipper Blades
- Open/Bleeding Cuts
- Cutting Cuticles
- Sharp Files
- Open/Bleeding Cuts
- Extraction Procedures
- Permanent Makeup/Tattooing
- All Services
- Cross Contamination
- Openings in the Scalp/Skin
- Open/Bleeding Cuts
All of the above procedures can permit the transmission of germs, bacteria, and diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to clean everything that is used on a regular basis in order to make sure that proper infection control in salons is being executed according to regulations.
Stations must be cleaned and disinfected between each client using proper infection control procedures. It is also worth finding out from your specific regulating bodies and state board to determine what level of infection control products are required in your town and state to stay compliant.
It isn’t just regular hairstylists and nail salons that must follow these rules. All types of spas, skin care facilities, waxing stations, and many others, must meet the requirements for state and federal infection control standards. Besides cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing, there are a few other things that must be done.
Maintaining Solution Integrity
In between cleaning and sanitizing, the implements must be towel dried before inserting into disinfectant solutions. This prevents your solutions from becoming diluted with water and losing their effectiveness. Read the label to determine use-life of your solutions. Many hospital-grade disinfectants need to be changed daily to provide effective protection.
There are specific regulations to follow in case of an emergency situation. Usually, emergency situations involve bleeding cuts. The following is a list, in order, of what to do during a blood spill:
- Stop the service and wash your hands first.
- Put on protective gloves.
- Supply the injured person with styptic powder or spray; this helps stop bleeding, and give them dressing to cover the injury.
- Don’t let containers, brushes, nozzles, or the styptic container touch the skin or the wound.
- Disinfect the station and other implements with EPA – registered, broad spectrum (hospital-level) disinfectant.
- Double bag all blood soiled articles and discard them. Make sure they are sealed completely so that no one else will come into contact with the blood.
Material Safety Data Sheets
If you own or work in a salon, you must always have MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) available at all times for any chemical products. This is an OSHA regulation. These data sheets are for emergencies and provide information on ingredients that may be hazardous, as well as procedures required to control the substances in case of spills or human exposure. Chemicals must be accounted for and stored properly as well.
There are regulations for storing chemicals in their proper manner. Do not store chemicals sideways or upside down. It is important to label all containers, whether it has been mixed with something else or not. Every container must be covered and shut tightly. If there are creams and lotions, they must have a disposable applicator in order to be dispensable. Flammables (including alcohol) require special storage procedures.
In today’s litigious and compliance-crazy world, it is essential that all establishments that provide services to the public should follow proper hygiene protocol. Those salons that take extra care in keeping a clean and sanitary environment always stand apart from the average. Simply the appearance of a clean shop is more warm and inviting to your clients.
ULTRONICS is the disinfectant solution provider for the health, beauty and salon industry. Our hospital-grade cleaning/disinfecting systems and infection control products are designed to meet the ever-changing demands of salons, spas and barber shops. Our passion for quality and excellence continues to drive new product development.
Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional's Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Year for many consecutive years. (Thank you!)