No one is saying that being a barber or hairdresser or owning a barbershop or salon is a risky business. But at the end of the day, if things go wrong it’s your livelihood or business that will suffer. You’ll find that you already do – or plan to do – a lot of what’s covered, and much of it is common sense. Looking after health and safety is just part of managing a business well. Done properly, you could see it save money too.

Hair colourant

Support is available to help hairdressing, beauty and barbering business save time, effort and money on health and safety. Business owners are responsible for managing health and safety but it doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or time consuming. In fact, the basics are easier than most people think.
The NHF has a practical, easy-to-follow toolkit specifically for salon owners. It contains everything a salon needs to comply with health and safety legislation and is specifically tailored for hair and beauty salons and barber shops.

By law you must…

1. Understand your requirements

You need be aware of the health and safety requirements for your salon or barber shop as you’ve got a ‘duty of care’ for employees and clients.

2. Write a health and safety policy for your business

If you employ five or more people, part or full time, you have to have a written policy.
Reminder: The NHF health and safety tool box contains a health and safety policy where you just have to fill in the gaps.

3. Manage the risk in your business

You will need to have risk assessments based on the work done within salons or barbershops. Key areas will include dermatitis, storing and using chemicals, aches and pains.
Reminder: The NHF health and safety tool box contains risk assessment templates specific to the hair and beauty industry.

4. Talk to your employees about…

  • Health and safety and the work they do
  • How risks can be minimised
  • Training required 

Cut throat razor

5. Giving training and information

You should provide employees with basic training and keep a training record. Training could include basic first aid, slips trips and falls, manual handling and how to achieve a good posture to help with aches and pains. 

6. Have the right facilities

In your salon you need to ensure that the following facilities are available for your staff and customers:

  • Toilet and washing facilities
  • Drinking water
  • Somewhere to store clothes and to change if your staff wear uniform
  • Somewhere for your staff to rest and eat meals during breaks

7. Plan for first aid, accidents and ill health

If you have employees you will need the following:

  • A stocked first aid box
  • An ‘appointed person’ to take charge – someone who checks the first aid box and calls an ambulance if necessary
  • Information for employees on first aid

Reminder: A first aid box and signs are included in the NHF’s health & safety toolbox

8. Display the health and safety law poster

If you employ anyone, the law says you must display the poster.

Reminder: The health and safety poster is included in the NHF health & safety toolbox.

9. Get insurance for your business

You will need to ensure that you’ve got employers liability (compulsory if you employ people) and public liability for your salon or barbershop. If an employee or client gets ill or injured due to your business it will protect you against the cost of compensation.

Reminder: The NHF’s preferred broker Coversure will be able to assist you with this. 20% discount is available for NHF members

Other issues to think about in your salon or barber shop

  • Dermatitis
  • Using and storing chemicals
  • Aches and pains
  • Shaving and razor blades
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Electricity and gas
  • Lifting and carrying
  • Working temperature
  • Fire precautions
  • Young workers
  • Pregnancy


  • More detailed information is included in the NHF’s health and safety toolkit which contains everything you need to cover health and safety law, in a box! The box includes a health and safety guide for you and your employees, risk assessments for the most common salon or barbershop hazards, a health and safety policy plus the mandatory health and safety poster, first aid kit, first aid and fire notices, accident book and more, all for the price of £65 plus £4.50 P&P for members and £99 plus P&P for non-members. Click here to order online. Or give a member of the membership team to order yours: 01234 831965