Health and Safety Legislation

The legislation relating to tattooing and micropigmentation can be broadly split into two main areas;

  • Specific controls by registration or licensing of premises and people carrying out the treatments.
  • General controls of activities through primary legislation that is not specific to particular activities but applies to all of them.

The use of legislation in this area is primarily to ensure that infection control arrangements are adequate and effectively carried out when treatments are taking place. The primary means of enforcing infection control arrangements is by the use of the licensing or registration provisions. These are largely concerned with setting requirements for good standards in maintaining hygiene controls in respect of premises, equipment, procedures and practices.
Generally outside London both the premises and the practitioners themselves have to be registered, the Local Government Act 2003 added semi-permanent skin coloring to the list of activities that required registration.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 applies to the whole of England and Wales and provides a means of securing effective infection control. The following areas are applicable to micropigmentation/ semi-permanent skin coloring;

  • Risk assessment
  • Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • Management of contractors

More on Risk Assessments…
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place an obligation on the employer to actively carry out a risk assessment of the work place and act accordingly. The assessment must be reviewed when necessary and recorded where there are 5 or more employees. It is intended to identify health and safety risks.
The regulations require an assessment of ALL working activities and need certain measures to be followed:

  • avoid risk where possible
  • assess risks that cannot be avoided
  • combat risks at source
  • adapt the working environment of the individual
  • use technology to reduce risk
  • implement risk prevention measures to form a coherent policy and approach
  • give priority to measure that protect the whole workforce rather than one person
  • ensure employees understand the control measures
  • encourage a positive health and safety culture

For all further information regarding health and safety including example risk assessments and policies, please visit: https://www.hse.gov.uk/search/search-results.htm?gsc.q=beauty%20salon#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=beauty%20salon&gsc.page=1 

Age Limits and Consent
All clients must be over eighteen. They should always and without exception sign a declaration to give their consent, however the consent will only be valid if the client has been fully informed as to the nature of the process and the likely effect and the potential problems involved.

The Use of Local Anaesthetic
There are a range of topical anaesthetic products that are readily available at local pharmacies, however none of these are licensed for local anaesthesia prior to micropigmentation. The client may wish to obtain topical, local anaesthetic products prior to their treatment. However, responsibility should rest with them for purchase and application.

Reporting Incidents
Under the requirements of RIDDOR 1995, you have a legal duty to report occurrences and incidents to your relevant enforcing authority.
Adherence to health and safety law and professional standards is an essential part of being a successful micropigmentation technician. We have a duty of care to clients and employees to ensure that infection control is carried out effectively and all other health and safety guidelines are met.
It is recommended that a person who is carrying out micropigmentation treatments is immunised against Hepatitis B to protect the technician and the client. This should not serve as a replacement for proper hygiene standards as there is still no immunisation against Hepatitis C and HIV. Anyone who is working with sharps is also advised to ensure they are up to date with their Tetanus immunisation. Further details regarding immunisation can be found via: https://www.hse.gov.uk/biosafety/blood-borne-viruses/immunisation.htm
A high standard of personal hygiene should be maintained as an essential part of controlling the risk of infection and cross contamination. Any cuts or grazes should be covered prior to beginning treatment and eating and drinking should not be allowed in the sterile working area.