Personal Injury and Treatment Risks
Salons and barber shops are all about making people feel good about themselves. But the array of chemicals, products, trimmers, dryers, and other machines employed in the process creates an environment where accidents and injuries can happen at any moment. If your business offers services beyond just hairstyling, such as manicures, pedicures, and makeovers, your liability increases. Accidents that result in injuries—particularly those that could have been prevented with better controls—often result in lawsuits.
Major and minor injuries to both clients and employees can be caused by:
- Slippery floors due to product spills and hair clippings
- Burns from dryers and curling irons
- Cuts from razors
- Repeated exposure to hair products and coloring agents.
Apart from injuries caused by typical slips and falls, you also face risks tied to the professional services you’re providing. If a chemical gets into a client’s eyes or mouth, or they suffer an allergic reaction to a product you’ve applied, you could get sued. Because the nature of your business requires physical touching, you also have to guard against the perception of any inappropriate physical contact with clients.
- Train your employees to keep your salon or barber shop comfortable, clean and safe. Regularly sweep up hair clippings, mop up any product spills immediately to limit the chance of slips and falls and clean and disinfect all equipment that comes in direct contact with customers.
- Know the chemicals and ingredients in your product inventory, and understand how these chemicals may react with one another, particularly if they spill and get mixed together.
- If an accident happens and someone gets hurt, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires salon and barber shop owners to document injuries to clients and employees, and to keep detailed records if the accident results in the victim being unable to work.
- You must comply with OSHA’s formaldehyde and hazard communication standards if you use products containing this chemical.
- Carry sufficient insurance. At a minimum, consider a Business Owner’s Policy which combines what are arguably two of the most critical business insurance coverages: business property and business liability. You may want to consider adding professional liability insurance, which protects you against claims related to your professional services, including mistakes or negligence. Your state may require you to carry Worker’s Compensation insurance for your full- and part-time employees.