Fabian Demicoli

A Framework Agreement for hairdressers SIGNED

 GRTU has this week met its members in the hairdressers section for a consultation on the Framework Agreement signed at EU level and by the Maltese Hair and Beauty Federation. Below please find a summery of what was signed.

 

European Framework agreement on the protection of occupational health and safety in the hairdressing sector

Improving the working environment to protect workers` health and safety in the following areas:

Protection of skin and respiratory tract

  • According to Article 6(3) and 9 of the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC, the employer shall carry out a risk assessment and shall take measures on the basis of the conclusions of such an assessment, making it possible to eliminate or reduce to a minimum the risk. The hierarchy of prevention principles should be applied.

  • To avoid repeated contact for long periods of time with water and skin-irritating substances that may cause irritation and allergic reaction, the employer shall take individual protective measures and organise a balance between wet and dry work activities. Workers shall comply with the obligations laid down in Article 13 of the Framework Directive 89/391

  • The employer shall use materials, products and tools which are safest to the health and safety of the workers and in a form which involves low exposure (dual chamber, pastes, granulates, etc..). In particular for the following:

  • Permanent wave compositions containing thiogycolic acid ester (acidic permanent wave compositions)

  • Hair cosmetics (blonding agents, dyes) releasing dust into the air

  • Powdered natural rubber latex gloves

  • Tools (eg clippers and scissors) which can transfer nickel to skin when in contact with it for a lengthy period of time

Prevention of musculo-skeletal disorders

  • This occurs mainly in the muscles, tendons and nerves in the wrist, fingers, elbows, shoulder and back by causing pain and limit flexibility, which may lead to impairment in occupational and private life. The causes are repetitive hand movements, mental load, inadequate rest periods, unsuitable tools or incorrect use of equipment, strain at work, etc… It is suggested that workers consult a doctor for an occupational physician as soon as experiencing initial signs of MSD.

  • The employer shall:

  • organise the rotation of tasks whenever possible in order to avoid repetitive movements or strenuous work over an extended period of time and give appropriate instructions to workers in this sense.

  • Comply with the provisions regarding working hours as laid down in the law

  • The organisation of the salon makes it possible that tools and products to be used (except mixing stations) are within reach of the workstation. Preference would be given to trolleys. Which should be equipped with care products, especially protective gloves.

  • When purchasing or refurbishing a premises purchase height-adjustable chairs, rotating chairs and height-adjustable roller stools (for support when standing), which ensures that arms, shoulders and backs are at the right working height. For hair wash installation it should be considered a selection based on work processes and ergonomic good practices with respect to design, function and layout of the installations.

  • Hand held hair dryers and scissors must meet ergonomic requirements, be as light, quiet and low in vibration as possible.

Working environment and organisation of work

Employers shall:

  • Provide sufficient space to the workers at their workstations to carry out their duties without getting in each other's way, even when there are a lot of customers.

  • Electrical, gas and water installations comply with relevant international standards and that the workrooms are illuminated evenly and glare avoided complying with national standards but 400 lux minimum is recommended.

  • Ensure hairdressing rooms are property ventilated. A fresh air flow of 100m3/hour per person working at the workplace is normally sufficient. (Fans, natural cross or technical ventilation

  • Ensure mixing or transferring of chemical substances that can generate hazardous gases, fumes or particulates shall take place at special workstations that have an appropriate complementary ventilation system.

  • Provide facilities dedicated to hand hygiene and care of the workers and put at their disposal adequate equipment and products for their purpose

  • Ensure cosmetics are stored in cold places, bottles are stored sealed in the original package and product that are a fire hazard are kept away from flammable materials. Empty or partially used product containers shall be disposed of in safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

  • Equip the hand wash and care facilities for workers with suitable skin cleansing, protection and care agents and disposable towels.

  • Provide protective gloves that are sufficiently resistant to hairdressing chemicals and strong enough to ensure that they are not damages by normal work. They shall be non-sensitising and shall be of such a size and style as to fit the hands of users. The cuffs of washing gloves must stretch well beyond the wrist.

  • Ensure the tools (combs, scissors, hairclips, etc..) are cleaned and disinfected

  • Ensure that the premises, including toilets are maintained in a clean condition and floors are maintained regularly.

When new or refurbishing employers shall introduce floor coverings that are non slip so that persons can move about safely

Maternity protection

  • EU and national legislation shall be observed. Employers shall take particular care to such situations when organising work. When in doubt a doctor should be consulted. Prohibitions by doctors shall be respected.

Mental health and wellbeing

  • To contribute to a healthy and balanced mental environment, the employer shall ensure a careful preparation of work and appropriate planning of the working time and work organisation aimed at optimising resource management and preventing emotional collapse.

  • Implement Framework agreement on work related stress.

  • The employer shall provide workers with the necessary support, clarification of responsibilities and decision making powers were appropriate.

Individual protective measures

Workers shall

  • wear suitable clothes and in particular shoes with non-slip soles.

  • not wear jewellery on their hands and arms during work

  • not leave aqueous solutions containing irritating substances or preparations to dry on the skin

  • Prevent involuntary contact with hairdressing chemicals, workers shall not dry their hands with the customer' towels.

  • Disposable single-use gloves shall be used for operations involving hairdressing chemicals, including rinsing dyes. Workers shall wear suitable protective gloves provided by the employer:

  • Applying dyes, tints and blonding agents, including when checking the results, emulsifying and rinsing

  • Applying permanent waves including trial curiling and setting

  • Preparing mixing and transferring chemical substances

  • Washing hair

  • Washing or disinfecting equipment, instruments or rooms

  • Cream their hands skin protection preparations before starting work. Where appropriate cleanse their hands with pH neutral cleanser, dry them and cream them.

  • Not eat or smoke in workrooms

  • Use mixing appliances, portion dispensers and suitable containers for diluting concentrates

A discussion will be held next week in a conference. It is important for hairdressers to attend.

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