Hairdressers Injured at Work Claims
Hairdressers undertake very repetitive, sometimes physically-demanding tasks on a daily basis. This means that employees in the profession are often found to develop conditions such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as varying intensities of back and neck pain.
The good news is, if you are a hairdresser and are suffering from a condition that could be a result of your job, you may be able to submit a hairdresser injury claim and win compensation if it is found that the salon owner has neglected their duty of care to you as an employee and has taken no steps to minimise the risks that you face on a daily basis.
Common Hairdresser Injuries
From standing on their feet for hours on end and working with sharp or electrical tools, to coming into contact with chemical substances, there are many hazards that an employer must address to ensure that employees can conduct their work safely.
Slip, trip and fall accidents
From wet floors, trailing cables, or even debris on the floor which hasn’t been cleared up, slips, trips and falls are some of the most common injuries sustained by hairdressers.
However, they are quite possibly some of the easiest to avoid, especially if health and safety protocols are followed with regards to workplace safety and the health and safety policies.
Most hairdressers’ days consist of standing up of bending around their clients to give them the best service possible. This often means that back pain or injury is sustained, especially if hairdressers find their diaries completely booked with clients.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are able to take regular breaks, are given adjustable seating options to adjust to each specific client and to ensure that the correct training has been undertaken to avoid a hairdresser back injury.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis and Repetitive Strain Injury
The nature of cutting, colouring and styling hair is very repetitive and, quite often, hairdressers will notice that they start to complain about their hands and their wrists and elbows aching or swelling from the constant repetitive movement.
The two most common wrist conditions in hairdressers are carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. These conditions flare up when repetitive motions are undertaken, and can become very severe if preventive measures aren’t put into place. The same can also be said about tendonitis, which is the swelling of a tendon and also a common hairdresser injury.
Preventative measures include providing equipment and tools which are ergonomically designed to reduce the stress on the limbs. Regular breaks should also be taken by the employee so that they are able to rest their limbs every so often to reduce the risk.
Foot and Leg Injuries
Salons utilise hard flooring in order to be able to clean quickly and effectively in between clients. This means that ankle, knee and hip issues can also arise when an employee is on their feet for long periods of time.
Whether it’s their super-sharp scissors or plethora of electrical equipment such as hair dryers, straighteners or curling wands, hairdressers should be made aware of any equipment which may cause them injury if not used correctly or properly maintained by the salon.
As with all electrical equipment, there is a risk of electrical shock, and especially in hairdressers where water and electricity often work side by side. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the salon is designed in a way in which water doesn’t come into contact with any electrical equipment or electrical outlets.
All employees should be given training to ensure that they are able to operate equipment properly and safely.
As part of their service, hairdressers are often expected to come into contact with and use substances that can be harmful.
Bleaches, hair dyes, aerosol products and strong ingredients can all pose different health risks to a hairdresser, ranging from chemical burns to respiratory conditions – even some skin conditions.
Hairdressers have been known to suffer more with respiratory conditions and diseases which can develop over time, such as alveolitis, reduced lung function, asthma, and rhinitis.
Using their hands for everything they do in their position, hairdressers also commonly complain of skin conditions and injuries, such as chemical burns, painful, dry, cracked skin and allergic contact dermatitis.
To avoid the possibility of a reaction of any kind, it is the employer’s responsibility to find alternatives to harmful substances where possible, or provide appropriate personal protection equipment such as gloves and eye protection if no alternative can be found.
Full training must also be given to ensure that all staff can safely use any chemicals that are on the premises and part of their role.
The employer is also responsible for reporting any incidents or conditions which occur to any of their employees which could be the result of a workplace hazard. The Report of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) covers the following:
- An injury which has been sustained using tools or equipment which lasts over three days
- Skin disease as a result of no personal protection equipment, such as dermatitis.
- An allergic reaction to personal protection equipment where an attempt has been made to alert the employer of an allergy, such as a latex reaction to latex gloves.
- A death or other major injury which can severely affect the employee involved.
If you are a hairdresser who has sustained an injury while at work that could have been avoided, please call 01772562084 or complete our compensation claim form below and we will get back to you.