The New York Times ran an article recently about the dangers that workers face working in nail salons across the city. Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs also have a lot of nail salons, which means hundreds of workers are exposed to harsh and harmful chemicals every single day.
Common injuries sustained by salon workers
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration created a booklet specifically for salon workers to help them avoid injuries at work. But which injuries are manicurists, pedicurists and beauticians likely to face?
- Harsh hair dyes chemical treatments for straightening or perms can easily cause a chemical burn. You may also be burned by very hot water, face and body wax and sterilization machines.
- Lung damage. Manicurists can breathe in chemicals and powders associated with fake nails, as well as the dust that comes from filing fingernails that may or may not have nail polish on them.
- Eye strain. In salons that offer specific detail work, such as eyebrow threading or hand-painted nail designs, workers could permanently strain their eyes.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is a repetitive stress injury caused by making the same movements over and over again. Beauticians who perform the same actions – cutting hair, curling hair, painting nails – may all be at risk of developing carpal tunnel.
- Back strain. Sitting in the same position for hours can put a lot of strain on your back. So can lifting heavy boxes, or sweeping a floor with a broom that’s too small. Sitting for too long also increases your chances of developing a blood clot, if you do not move often enough.
- Manicurists and pedicurists may be at the greatest risk, but hair stylists and waxers are also at risk of developing an infection if they have small cuts or abrasions on their hands, and they touch the skin of a person who has a communicable illness. Some infections, like fungal infections, may go away, but others could be permanent.
- It can be easy to slip on pieces of hair, water or the powder that comes from nail files. A serious all can make it impossible to do your job, maybe even permanently.
So what do you do if you work in a nail or beauty salon and you are hurt on the job? You can file a claim for workers’ compensation. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we help salon workers in and around Philadelphia get the workers’ compensation benefits they need in order to protect themselves and their families. To learn more, please contact the firm and make an appointment at one of our multiple offices serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.