Health Requirements & Inspections

Public Health Requirements for Personal Service Settings

Beauty and body art are referred to as “personal services” and places that offer these services are called Personal Services Settings (PSS).

Personal Service Settings for beauty and body art include:

  • Hair salons and barbers
  • Places that provide manicures and pedicures
  • Places that provide waxing and facials
  • Tattoo studios
  • Body piercing shops
  • Places that provide ear piercing
  • Places that provide electrolysis
  • Places that provide permanent make-up services

 

Guidance Documents for Personal Service Settings Reopening During COVID-19

Hamilton enters Stage 2 on Friday June 19, 2020

The attached Personal Service Settings COVID-19 Prevention Checklist and the Personal Service Settings Frequently Asked Questions for Reopening in Phase 2 (PDF, 275 KB) provide information to assist with reopening your establishment. They outline the control measures that should be put into place prior to reopening.

There are services that are restricted, these include:

  • Prohibiting services that tend to a customer's face, such as facials, facial hair grooming/shaving, eyelash tinting/extensions, eyebrow grooming such as threading/waxing/micro-pigmentation, piercings, makeup application, as well as oxygen bars and any other service on the nose, ears, or face.
  • Steam rooms, saunas and bath houses must remain closed.
  • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional. Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public, if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.

A business can open to offer permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service. For example, a facial salon can open to provide other services.

For further information please call Hamilton Public Health Services COVID-19 Hotline at 905-974-9848, Option 4.

Please continue to monitor this page for the most up to date information for Personal Service Settings as it becomes available.

General Requirements for Personal Service Settings

Public health requirements for personal service settings are in place to protect the operator and client’s health.It is important that proper infection control practices are followed at all times to reduce the risk of infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, as well as other bacterial and fungal infections. You do not have to see blood or body fluids on equipment or surfaces for infections to spread.

Resources for Operators

Under the regulation, owners/ operators of a personal service setting must provide notice if they are:

  • Intending to operate a new PSS
  • Expanding the services offered at your PSS
  • Reconstruct or renovate your existing PSS (beyond routine maintenance)

It is prohibited to sell, offer for sale or provide at a PSS:

  • Ear candling or coning; and
  • Any personal service involving live aquatic species (e.g. fish pedicures)

Under the Health Protection & Promotion Act, scleral tattooing or implantation of eye jewellery under the conjunctiva is prohibited.

Video: General requirements from the Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Service Settings

 

Public Health Inspections

During an inspection, the inspector will observe your practices, check your equipment and premises to make sure that the requirements outlined in the Personal Service Settings regulation are met and infection prevention and control practices are followed.

Public health inspectors check personal services settings for:

  • cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of equipment
  • maintenance of the facility
  • for follow-up on a complaint received by Public Health

The premise or shop must have at least one sink for hand washing and cleaning instruments. The same sink can be used for hand washing and instrument cleaning if the sink meets the other requirements below.

The sink(s) must:

  • Be near the work area
  • Have hot and cold running water, liquid soap in a dispenser and single-use hand towels at all times.
  • Always be available for hand washing while working on clients.
  • Be able to hold the largest instrument that needs cleaning
  • Not be shared by more than one premise or shop

Hands must be washed before starting a procedure, after finishing and in between any breaks in a procedure. A 70% alcohol-based hand rub can be used when hands are not visibly dirty.

Gloves should be worn when performing invasive procedures; when there is contact with blood, body fluids or broken skin such as a cut; and when the worker has non-intact skin on their hands.

General rules for cleaning and disinfecting instruments and work areas used for beauty and body art services include:

  • The work area must be clean, tidy and well lit.
  • Using a detergent and water solution to scrub instruments and the work area clean.
  • All product labels for disinfectants must have and expiry date and a drug identification number, or DIN, with the exception of hypochlorite.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting instruments immediately after they are used.
  • When you cannot clean instruments immediately after use, soak them in water and detergent until they can be cleaned properly.
  • Discarding or cleaning and disinfecting/sterilizing any instrument that was touched or handled during a procedure because it could be contaminated.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting work surfaces such as tables, equipment trays, magnifying lamps and spray bottles after each client or cover them with a single-use disposable cover and change after each client.
  • Using single-use applicators to dispense products onto a client’s skin. Do not ‘double dip’.
  • Disposing of anything that cannot be cleaned such as bibs, elastic bands and covers immediately after use.
  • Removing any items not required from the work area.
  • Storing reusable tools in a clean, covered container when not in use. Clean instruments should be separate from dirty instruments.
  • Placing all needles, razors or other sharps into an approved sharps container immediately after use.
  • Keeping client and accidental blood and body fluids exposure records for a minimum of one year on-site. All client records must be kept for at least five years. 

Other Language Resources


Requirements for specific Personal Service Settings

City of Hamilton Public Health Services works with owners and operators to ensure that services offered are done in a safe and sanitary manner with a goal to prevent transmission of infections. 

Requirements for Tattooing

To protect yourself and your client, it is important for you to follow proper infection control precautions when carrying out tattooing.  This video reviews general requirements for tattooing from the Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Service Settings.

Hand washing and gloves

Requirements for hand washing and gloves for body art or tattoo services include:

  • Washing your hands each time before putting on gloves. 
  • Wearing disposable gloves for each client.  Put on new gloves after a break in treatment of the same client.

Infection control

Requirements for infection control for body art or tattoo services include:

  • Using pre-packaged single-use, sterile needles and put in a sharps container immediately after use. 
  • Sterilizing instruments in an approved autoclave or dry heat sterilizer.
  • Spore testing your autoclave or dry heat sterilizer biweekly.
  • Reporting failed spore tests to Public Health immediately at 905-546-2063.
  • Opening sterile, packaged equipment only when you are ready to begin a procedure. Get supplies and set up the work area immediately before starting the procedure.
  • Using disposable razors for shaving the area and discarding immediately after use into a sharps container.
  • Cleaning clients skin with a skin antiseptic such as iodine, isopropyl alcohol or chlorhexidine gluconate.
  • Applying creams, lotions and ointments with single-use applicators. Throw out the applicator after use.
  • Cleaning and sterilizing the entire bar assembly after attaching needles to bars. Put the entire unit into a sharps container immediately after a tattoo procedure.
  • Taking apart any reusable equipment, including tubes, and manually clean or clean in an ultrasonic cleaner, then disinfecting and sterilizing as required.

     

  • Cleaning and disinfecting clip cords, spray bottles and motor frames after each client or when they are visibly dirty or cover with a disposable plastic sheath and change between clients.
  • Putting water for rinsing between colours into disposable cups. Throw out liquid and cups after each client.
  • Throwing out any leftover items such as ink, petroleum jelly, tissue and stencils in a garbage container after each client, even if the items have not been used during the procedure. Do not put the item back into the original container.
  • Cleaning new disposable ink caps in soapy water and let them air dry.
  • Soaking new disposable ink caps in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 10 minutes and allow to air dry before using.  Store in a clean and disinfected container with a lid.
  • If you use a micropigmentation pen or instrument, clean and sterilize the needle holder or throw out after each use.
  • Public Health recommends body art workers get the Hepatitis B vaccination.

Client safety

Requirements for client safety for body art and tattoo services include:

  • Providing clients with verbal and written after-care instructions such as:
    • Clean hands immediately before touching tattooed area.
    • Expected healing time of the site.
    • Possible complications and their signs and symptoms.
    • Advice on how to deal with slight redness, pain or swelling.
    • Recommend consultation with a doctor if the problem does not improve within 24 hours. 
  • Do not tattoo within six inches of inflamed or infected skin.
  • Covering the tattooed area with a clean, non-stick dressing.

Requirements for Body Piercing

When performing ear or body piercing, instruments can become contaminated with blood or body fluids that can carry disease causing organisms. It is important that proper infection control precautions are taken to protect clients and yourself.

This video reviews infection control requirements under Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Service Settings for any premises that offers body and ear piercing services.

Hand washing and gloves

Requirements for hand washing and gloves for body piercing services include:

  • Washing your hands:
    • before and after each client
    • before and after wearing gloves
    • in between breaks in service
  • Wearing single- use gloves for each client
  • Changing gloves between clients and between breaks in treatment of the same client.

Cleaning and disinfecting tools and instruments

Requirements for cleaning and disinfecting tools and instruments used for body piercing services include:

  • Using single-use, disposable, sterile needles and put in an approved sharps container immediately after use.
  • Disinfecting or sterilizing all reusable equipment. You must clean reusable equipment manually or in an ultrasonic cleaner after each use, then disinfect or sterilize as required.
  • Opening sterile, packaged equipment when you are ready to pierce clients. Sterile equipment includes pliers, forceps, clamps and needle pushers.
  • Using only sterile jewellery for piercing.
  • Cleaning and individually packaging and sterilizing jewellery you put together or modify.
  • Using a no-touch technique to avoid direct contact with the piercing site or sterile piercing equipment.
  • Using sterile, single-use and disposable closed ended receiving tubes.
  • Cleaning open-ended receiving tubes with a wire brush and sterilize them between uses. 
  • Buying sterile, single-use disposable items if you are using the dermal punch method. You cannot reuse these.  You must put them in an approved sharps container immediately after use.
  • Putting corks into a sharps container with the needle attached after use, if you use corks to ‘catch’ the needle.

Piercing procedure

Follow this procedure for piercing:

  • Clean the site to be pierced with an approved skin antiseptic. 
  • Mark where to pierce with an iodine tip pen before piercing. Allow ink to dry.
  • Clean the site with the approved skin antiseptic just before piercing.
  • Pierce the site.

Client safety

Requirements for client safety for body piercing services include:

  • Checking client’s skin before piercing. Do not pierce inflamed or infected skin or skin with a rash.
  • Providing clients with verbal and written after-care instructions such as: 
  • Keep the pierced area dry; normal bathing and showering are permitted
  • Clean hands immediately before touching jewellery
  • Expected healing time
  • Possible complications, and their signs and symptoms
  • How to deal with slight redness, pain or swelling
  • Recommend calling their doctor if the problem does not improve within 24 hours
  • Advise clients not to remove jewellery from a potentially infected piercing and to call their doctor

Hand washing and gloves

Requirements for hand washing and gloves for ear lobe piercing services include:

  • Wearing single-use disposable gloves on both hands during the piercing
  • Washing hands before and immediately after the piercing.

Cleaning and disinfecting tools and instruments

Requirements for cleaning and disinfecting tools and instruments used for ear piercing services include:

  • Not using ear-piercing instruments on any part of the body except the fleshy part of the ear lobes.
  • We recommend using single-use disposable adapters.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting piercing instruments with disposable parts after each client.
  • Supplying pre-packaged and sterile jewellery.
  • Not allowing jewellery intended for piercing to be sampled or returned.
  • Not spraying sterile earrings with disinfectant before piercing.
  • Throwing out all disposable parts after each client.
  • Opened packages of jewellery are no longer sterile and cannot be used to pierce the skin.
  • Storing the piercing instrument in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination.

Ear preparation procedure

Follow this procedure for preparing ears for piercing:

  • Clean the ear lobes with an approved skin antiseptic.
  • Mark the site with an iodine tip pen before piercing. Allow ink to dry.
  • Clean the ear lobes with the approved skin antiseptic just before piercing.
  • Pierce ear lobes.

Client safety

Requirements for client safety for ear piercing services include:

  • Giving clients verbal and written ear piercing after care instructions such as:
    • Keep the pierced area dry; normal bathing and showering are permitted
    • Clean hands immediately before touching or turning jewellery
    • Expected healing time
    • Possible complications and their signs and symptoms
    • How to deal with slight redness, pain or swelling
    • Recommend calling their doctor if the problem does not improve within 24 hours
    • Advise client not to remove jewellery from a potentially infected piercing and to call their doctor for instructions

Hand washing and gloves

Requirements for hand washing and gloves for electrolysis services include:

  • Washing your hands before and after each client or treatment, before and after wearing gloves and in between breaks in service.
  • Changing single-use gloves between clients and between breaks in treatment of the same client.

Cleaning and sterilization of tools and equipment

Requirements for cleaning and sterilization of tools and equipment used for electrolysis services include:

  • Needles must be sterile, pre-packaged and single-use.
  • Heat produced by the current passing through an electrolysis needle is not sufficient to sterilize it.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all equipment used during an electrolysis procedure after each client.
  • Tools used to expose the ingrown hair must be sterile. You can use sterile single-use needles or lancets for this procedure.
  • Tools such as tweezers used to pull out ingrown hairs must be clean and disinfected after each client. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment that holds sterile items such as tweezers or epilator needle cap/tip between clients.
  • Throwing away items after each client that cannot be cleaned or disinfected after a single-use such as applicators, swabs or cotton towels.
  • Covering any work or equipment surface that may be contaminated during electrolysis with a plastic sheath and change after every client. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the work or equipment surface at the end of the day and when it is contaminated.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all items that you cannot cover with a plastic sheath after each client.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting clip cords after each client.
  • Placing used needles, sharps and razors into an approved sharps container immediately after use.
  • Cleaning all tools and instruments thoroughly before disinfecting or sterilizing.

Client Safety

A requirement for client safety for electrolysis services includes:

  • Do not treat infected or inflamed skin. 

Requirements for Hair Salons and Barbershops

Instruments and equipment used for hairdressing and barbering can become contaminated with blood or body fluids.This video reviews general requirements for barbering and hairdressing services outlined in the Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Service Settings.

Hand washing and gloves

Requirements for hand washing and gloves for hair salons and barbershops include:

  • before and after each client
  • before and after wearing gloves
  • in between breaks in service

Cleaning and disinfecting instruments and tools

While the infection risk of barbering and hairstyling is low, procedures involving the use of a razor carry the risk of cutting the client. The open wound may allow entry of microorganisms. The potential sources of these microorganisms are:

  • Contaminated or improperly reprocessed equipment
  • The client’s own bacteria
  • Contaminated environment
  • Unclean hands touching the cut area.

Infection Control

Requirements for infection control for barber shops and hair salons include:

  • All reusable instruments which contact the client’s skin (e.g. brushes, clips, capes) must be cleaned and disinfected between clients.
  • It is highly recommended that straight blades with single-use disposable razors are used for shaving. Straight razors with fixed blades are not recommended.
  • Single use, disposable blades used for shaving must be discarded in a sharps container immediately after use.
  • The cradle which holds the razor in place, when used for shaving skin, must be cleaned and disinfected with an intermediate or high level disinfectant after each use
  • Crochet hooks used for cap highlights must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. If a hook nicks a client’s skin, it must be cleaned and then intermediate or high level disinfected
  • Styptic product is to be applied in powder or liquid form using a disposable applicator. Styptic pencils are not to be used
  • All disinfectant solutions must be made fresh daily, according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • All reusable items must be cleaned and rinsed before they are placed in a disinfectant solution, otherwise the solution will become contaminated. Items must be fully immersed in the solution for the appropriate contact time.

Client Safety

A requirement for client safety for hair salons and barbershops includes:

  • Do not provide service to a client with head lice or signs of fungal infection of the scalp or neck. Advise the client to see a health care provider for assessment

Requirements for Nail Services & Waxing

Instruments and equipment used for waxing, manicures and pedicures can become contaminated with blood or body fluids which can transmit infectious diseases. 

This video discusses cleaning and disinfection requirements for instruments and equipment used for manicures and pedicures as required under Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Service Settings

Hand washing and gloves

Requirements for hand washing and gloves for nail services include:

  • Checking client’s nails for signs of infection such as fungus or mould before a procedure. Do not provide service if a client’s nails are discoloured with yellowish-green spots.  Tell the client to contact their doctor.
  • Washing your hands before and after each client service, before and after wearing gloves and in between breaks in service.
  • The client should wash their hands before having a manicure.

Cleaning and disinfecting instruments and tools

Requirements for cleaning and disinfecting instruments and tools used for nail services include:

  • Cleaning and scrubbing instruments such as clippers, nippers and metal or crystal files with soap and water and disinfecting with a disinfectant such as 70% isopropyl alcohol after each client.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting any instrument that breaks the skin during a procedure with a high-level disinfectant.
  • Throwing out single-use instruments that cannot be cleaned and disinfected immediately after use. This includes instruments made of foam or sponge such as files, pumice stones and buffers.
  • Reusing foot paddles if you clean and disinfect them after each client.
  • Disposing of razors and pedicure blades in an approved sharps container immediately after use. These can only be used one time.
  • Applying styptic products in powder or liquid form with a disposable applicator.
  • Cleaning footbaths with detergent and water after each use and then disinfect with a disinfectant according to the manufacturer’s directions, usually 10 minutes. Circulate both cleaning and disinfectant solutions through the footbath’s circulating system.
  • Removing and cleaning screens every day in foot baths with screens, followed by disinfection.
  • Cleaning all tools and instruments thoroughly before disinfecting or sterilizing.

For further COVID-19 information seehttps://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus

Contact us

If you are planning on opening a new personal service setting, renovating or changing services offered at your personal service setting, you must notify Public Health Services.

For more information: