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Nail Salon Industry Safety & Health

Woman wearing black clothing in a nail salon seated in a chair while painting another person's toes with nail polish.

Working in awkward positions, such as with the neck bent, for extended periods can lead to muscle strain, discomfort, and possible damage.

Creative Commons licensed photo courtesy of Zuki Flower on Flickr.

Like other employers in Washington State, you must protect your nail salon workers from exposure to workplace safety and health hazards. 

Hazards associated with nail filing and polishing, artificial nail application, pedicures, facials, waxing, eyebrow/eyelash tattooing, and other hand and foot care treatments include the following:

  • Exposure to chemicals from glues, polishes, removers, other salon products, and cleaning products.
  • Sprains and strains from awkward positions or repetitive motions.
  • Risk of infection from contact with client skin or nails (bacteria, fungi, viruses) or blood (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Other possible hazards may include the following:

  • Slips, trips, and falls from wet floors, clutter, and poor housekeeping issues.
  • Falls from ladders when stocking supplies.
  • Electrical shock or fires from bad wiring and damaged plugs, cords, or outlets.
  • Robberies and other forms of workplace violence.

The information below will help to inform and educate employers and employees on the importance of prevention methods like developing and implementing a required written Accident Prevention Program that can be used to help identify and evaluate possible safety and health hazards, and to find solutions that eliminate or control these hazards.

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For general information, call 1-800-423-7233.

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