As salons are now settled back into a working pattern, it’s a good time to remind salon owners to carry out regular risk assessments. A risk assessment is a positive move in minimising the chances of making a claim on salon insurance.

It is more than likely you carried out an assessment before reopening, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a plan in place to regularly review procedures and risks.

A risk assessment involves examining all elements of the property and work carried out within it and asking what could cause any harm to clients and staff. After all, any accidents or illnesses caused by the salon environment, or damage to equipment could be highly costly to the business.

shutterstock 144022057

Here are a few simple ways to record your risk assessment notes:

  • Note the potential hazards – write down what could cause harm to staff, clients or contents. Remember that this is potential hazards, not necessarily something that has already happened, so keep your eyes peeled on what could happen
  • Record who could be affected – is the hazard likely to affect you as a salon owner, staff (whether it’s a stylist, receptionist or cleaner), or a client
  • Scale the risk – have a number scale to note how likely a hazard is to occur. If the number is high, you know you have to take immediate action
  • Decide what action will be taken – based on what you know and the potential outcomes, what can be done to prevent an accident and minimise risk
  • Implement actions (and record) – make sure any actions you decide need to happen, do happen. If you’re not qualified to carry out the action, bring in someone who is
  • Review and date – note down what date you carried out each risk assessment and any resulting actions

There are levels of risk assessment that should be continuously carried out – trip or slip hazards, for example, can be carried out every time an action is taken in the salon. But monitoring the building or contents may be something you consider weekly.

Some of the most common causes of accidents and insurance claims can be avoided with proper recording. Take particular care to consider the following when carrying out risk assessments on your salon:

Trips, slips and falls – from slippery floors due to water, products or unswept hair, to electrical cables from hair dryers and other equipment. These hazards should be checked multiple times each day

Chemicals – hazardous substances used in salons should always be used in accordance with instructions and training. Breathing difficulties and skin irritations are common side effects of misuse

Fire hazards – electrical items and chemicals can be the main cause of fires in salons. Electrical products should be regularly maintained and checked, whilst chemicals should be stored and used safely

Theft – make sure the salon is secure overnight and that valuables are locked away when unattended

Cleanliness – it’s more important than ever to keep everything clean and disinfected. Poor hygiene and unclean surfaces can cause a number of health and safety issues

Staff training – from the basics of handling sharp objects to first aid training, if staff are well equipped and trained, the risk of accidents becomes less

Remember to keep your process and notes simple. This should be something you make a habit of for the safety of everyone and it shouldn’t be over complicated. You will have a good idea of any potential risks just from being an experienced salon owner, so use your knowledge to keep yourself, your staff and clients safe.

If you do need to discuss your salon insurance, be it a hair salon or beauty salon, Britton Insurance has over 40 years of experience and we realise that no two salons are the same. It’s important to have all necessary insurance in place, so we want to make it easy for you.