Among other physical hazards, individuals working in hair salons and barbershops face risks of serious injury from prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, formaldehyde contained in hair products presents a serious threat to employees’ health.
Formaldehyde may cause irritation or blindness if it comes in contact with an individual’s eyes. Long-term inhalation of the cancer-causing toxin may lead to respiratory issues that require medical treatment. The CDC notes that formaldehyde coming in contact with skin may cause dermatitis or rashes.
Risk of sharp object injuries and bloodborne illnesses
As reported by Chron.com, sharp objects such as scissors, clippers and razors increase the chance of an individual’s exposure to bloodborne illnesses. Unexpectedly cutting or nicking a customer on the neck could draw blood. This may expose an employee to an infectious bloodborne disease such as hepatitis B.
According to the CDC, blood can transmit more than 20 pathogens, with AIDS and hepatitis reflecting the most common diseases. Because a bloodborne illness may become a debilitating condition, an employee who contracted the causative disease while performing a job task may apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
Repetitive stress may lead to severe physical injuries
Salon and barbershop employees perform their work standing on their feet for long periods of time. Coupled with repetitive motions such as cutting hair, they face greater risks of developing carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. Pain or muscle sprains may require taking time off from work for medical treatment. Neglecting to obtain medical care may cause an injury to develop into a severe and debilitating condition.
Employees may apply for workers’ compensation benefits when their job duties cause an injury or illness. An approved claim for benefits may provide both financial compensation for medical treatments and wage replacement while unable to work.