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The law says: Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break
during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. Click here to read more …
Here at MPS we understand that your work can be physically demanding so we offer the following break allowance, all of theses are calculated into your schedules. If you require additional unpaid breaks please contact the events team on 01625 540557 in plenty of time prior to the event.
Over 3 hours – 1 x 10 mins
5 hours – 2 x 10 mins
If you’re a mobile therapist, remember to let a friend or relative know where you’re going, especially if you’re visiting a new client. You may want to use a simple ‘call in’ system.
For safety we ask that you text our office on tel:+447520 615 233 upon arrival.
Find out more about the risks of working on your own at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg73.pdf
Download the ‘Going it alone’ guide for a quick overview of things to think about when working on your own at www.iosh.co.uk/safestartup
It can get hot and humid in rooms during treatments, so make sure yours can be easily ventilated if needed upon arrival.
Drinking plenty of water yourself can help regulate your body’s own tempreature.
For further information, please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/faq.htm
Make sure fixed and handheld equipment works properly and that your electrics are serviced and tested (PAT Tested) by someone with the right skills and qualifications.
Look for more information on getting your electrics tested at www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq.htm#maintaining-it-safely
Get more information about fire precautions at www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw
There can be many hazards when carrying out treatments, its important to keep the floors clean and clear in your work area to avoid slip, trips and falls.
For further information, please visit:http://www.hse.gov.uk/slips/
Here are some basic pointers to help you when working with essential oils:
• Make sure you’re trained to handle oils safely, for example, getting mixing ratios right – this should have been covered under your original professional training
• Treat your clients in a well ventilated room
• Make sure clients aren’t allergic to the oil you plan to use – carry out a patch test on new clients or when using a new product
• Store essential oils in airtight sealed containers and a cool, well ventilated place
• Keep oils out of reach of children, if they may be around
• Don’t leave essential oils near sources of heat or flame
• Wear gloves when prepping and mixing oils – this will cut down the time you’re in contact with them, and reduce the chance of getting occupational dermatitis.
Nail cosmetic products like hardeners, adhesives, polishes, artificial nail primers, UV gels, polymers and wrap resins can all irritate your skin.
Make sure that you:
• Wash hands thoroughly before and after each service as well as before eating and after handling products
• Keep containers tightly closed when they’re not being used
• Keep products in their original containers where possible
• Make sure any decanted products are clearly labelled
• Store all products properly – follow the guidance on the safety datasheets from your supplier. Make sure you store flammable products like wax-cleaning solvents out of direct sunlight and at room temperature or below.
• Find out more about preventing breathing problems at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg95.pdf
• Find out how to avoid developing dermatitis at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg233.pdf
• Find out more about nail services at www.habia.org/healthandsafety/index.php?page=749
• Find out more about waxing safety at www.habia.org/uploads/waxing_code_of_practice_booklet.pdf
You may lift and move around couches, trolleys and various bits of equipment. If you’re working as a mobile therapist then you’ll probably be doing this day in, day out. If you don’t lift and move things properly, you could suffer back pains, as well as sprains and strains in other parts of your body. Remember that if you get a more serious injury, it could put you out of work for a while.
To cut the risks of getting injured down:
• Work out the tasks that could lead to an injury
• Try to avoid manual tasks that pose more of a risk – for example, use a trolley to move therapy equipment instead of carrying boxes or cases around
• Assess the task you need to do and think about the type of load (eg is it difficult to grip?), the environment (eg is it in a tight space?) and your capabilities (eg do you have a back problem already?)
• Make sure that you cut down the risk of injuring yourself as much as possible, for example by buying a lightweight portable massage table
Find out more about safe lifting and carrying at www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/manualhandling.htm
Our work means that there’s a risk of infections being passed between you and your clients. Treatments such as acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology may lead to infection through, for example, broken skin or contaminated equipment. As a result, you – or your clients – may come into contact with infectious materials and viruses such as HIV or Hepatitis B or C.
It’s critical that you take steps to avoid these risks:
• Keep nails short and long hair tied back
• Take off any jewellery (including your watch) before treating a client as it can harbour germs and could catch or
cut your client’s skin
• Protect yourself and your clothes by wearing a uniform or apron and think about wearing gloves if you have any
cuts or sores on your hands, or you’re doing abrasive work such as exfoliations wash your hands before and after
the start of any treatment – use anti-bacterial soap
• Keep your treatment area and equipment clean – for example, clean and disinfect anything your clients have direct
contact with at least once a day, and replace used towels and paper covers on your treatment table after each
• Look out for signs of athlete’s foot or verrucas before you start treating a client – if you do see any evidence
of these highly contagious viruses and fungal infections, you may not want to carry out the treatment until the
client’s GP confirms that there’s no longer a risk of crossinfection. Remember that it’s not just you who could
get infected, but your other clients too
• Cover any open boils, cuts, sores and wounds using a waterproof dressing
• Use disposable surgical gloves if you have a skin condition like eczema, and the skin is damaged
• Never eat or drink in working areas.
• If your work involves handling ‘sharps’ (including needles, scissors, blades or tweezers) for day-today
activities like skin piercing and acupuncture, it may be worth getting immunised to protect against diseases like
• Find out more about blood-borne viruses at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg342.pdf
• Find out about controlling infection risks at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/infection.pdf
• Find out more about hygiene in beauty therapy at www.habia.org/healthandsafety/index.php?page=746
• The Melanoma Taskforce and British Association of Dermatologists have developed guidelines aimed at hairdressers, masseurs, therapists and other wellbeing professionals to help them pick up on signs of skin cancer when they’re dealing with clients – find out more at www.babtac.com/melanomataskforce
It’s not surprising that with all the repetitive treatments you do, and a lot of standing, you may get a few aches and pains from time to time. You may find that your wrists, hands, arms, neck, shoulders or back are affected. A few simple steps will help to avoid the odd pain developing into a longer term problem known as a ‘repetitive strain injury’ – these can happen if you’re repeating one action too frequently, you do the same task for long stretches of time without taking enough breaks, and when you exert a lot of force in the task, for example when you’re massaging
• Use a height-adjustable therapy couch
• Use a saddle stool rather than a standard one – they cut down stress on your legs and back, but still allow you to balance well, stand up quickly and move about easily
• Take regular breaks
• Use massage tools, such as rollers, and ‘hands-free’ techniques, using hot stones, or your elbows and forearms, where possible
• Vary the types of appointment you handle in a day (MPS consider this when putting schedules together but will be naturally unaware of your other work commitments, so please let us know if there are any issues)
• Find out about the best posture to use when working.