Workers in Colorado — regardless of the industry in which they are employed — have to face safety hazards on a daily basis. Many people who frequent nail salons may not realize the hazards that nail technicians face while performing manicures, pedicures and artificial nail applications. A serious workplace injury or illness can be suffered by a worker who is not appropriately protected.
Industry estimates indicate that approximately 350,000 workers were employed in businesses related to personal care in 2008 to 2009. A large percentage of that number is nail salon employees who regularly work with different hazardous chemicals, including acrylates, solvents and biocides as vapors or dust. It is not only nail technicians who work with artificial nails that are exposed to safety hazards, but also those doing manicures and pedicures.
Nail technicians work with their faces very close to the hands and/or feet of the clients. Without gloves and masks to prevent contact and inhalation of dust from filing or other materials, various conditions can be suffered. Some studies have been done to learn more about the links between the hazardous chemicals to which nail workers are exposed and the illnesses or injuries they report. Although a large percentage of the available research reports on respiratory problems, workers have also reported musculoskeletal and neurological injuries.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that nail salon owners nationwide, including here in Colorado, follow its guidelines about recommended safety measures to protect their employees. However, in the event of a nail technician suffering a workplace injury or occupational illness, benefits claims may be filed with the workers’ compensation insurance system. Along with medical expenses, a portion of lost wages may be paid, and if there are long-term consequences, additional compensation may be awarded.
Source: cdc.gov, “Nail Technicians’ Health and Workplace Exposure Control“, Accessed on June 29, 2016