This webpage gives important information about these hazards and the steps that nail salon workers and employers can take to prevent injuries and illnesses. Information on nail salon hazards and preventing illness and injury is also available for workers in OSHA's publication "Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures: A Guide for Nail Salon Workers" [2 MB PDF*, 20 pages]. This publication is also available in Spanish [2 MB PDF*, 13 pages] and Vietnamese [638 KB PDF*, 22 pages] and Korean [3 MB PDF*, 24 pages]. 1
|Nail polishes, glues, and other products used in nail salons may contain the following chemicals, among others:
Without taking the correct safety precautions each day, these chemicals can cause breathing problems; red, irritated eyes; dry, cracked skin; and other health problems. To learn more, click here.
|Working in certain positions or repeating the same motion puts stress on a worker's body and can cause aches and pains. These hazards are often called "ergonomic" hazards.
Aches and pains can be caused by bending over a work table for a long period of time; resting hands, wrists, forearms and/or elbows against hard surfaces or sharp edges of work tables; and using repetitive movements like filing and buffing nails. To learn more, click here.
|Nail salon workers can be exposed to biological hazards if they come into contact with infected skin, nails, or blood from a co-worker or client.
Diseases that can result from exposure to infected blood include hepatitis and AIDS. Nail salon workers can also get fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, from clients. To learn more, click here.
How can OSHA Help?
OSHA developed this webpage to provide workers and employers with useful, up-to-date information on exposure to workplace hazards in nail salons. For other helpful worker protection information, such as workers' rights, employer responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, see OSHA's page for workers. Nail salon owners can also contact OSHA's free and confidential Consultation Program to help identify and fix hazards in their workplace. On-site consultations do not result in citations or penalties. To contact OSHA's Consultation Program, visit OSHA's website or call 1-800-321-6742.
2The website was adapted from Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures: A Guide for Nail Salon Workers [2 MB PDF*, 12 pages], which was developed by the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), University of California, Berkeley and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative.
Photos were provided by the Asian Law Caucus and Street Level Health ProjectBack to Top
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*These files are provided for downloading.