The Regional Municipality Of York

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Spa Safety

York Region Public Health inspects spas and salons and provides training to operators and workers to prevent the spread of infections. In York Region, salons and spas must pass a Public Health Inspection and post the latest Public Health Proof of Inspection sign.


You can learn how to be spa safe by reading the Be Spa Safe guide (digital flip book or pdf)

To protect yourself from infections at the salon and spa:

  • Check your salon's or spa's latest YorkSafe inspection report before you go
  • Know what to look for once at the salon or spa
  • Read the Be Spa Safe Checklists (below)
  • Make an informed decision and report concerns

Cover of Infection Prevention and Control Guidebook for operators
Infection Prevention Guide

The Infection Prevention: Always in Style workshop is offered regularly for operators, workers and anyone interested in working in salons and spas.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants receive an Infectious Prevention and Control for Personal Service Settings Certificate of Attendance to post at their business. Salon and spa clients will recognize that staff are certified and knowledgeable of preventing the spread of infection when delivering personal services to their clients.

Five Steps to Protect Yourself at the Spa

  1. Check before you go. Check for a Proof of Public Health Inspection pass sign. Check york.ca/yorksafe for the salon or spa’s latest inspection report showing any health related charges and orders.
  2. Know what to look for before you book or receive a spa service.
  3. Look around and ask questions. Ask staff how they clean and disinfect and which items are single use only.
  4. Make an informed decision and refuse service if you are uncomfortable. You have a right to have a safe, clean service that is given with clean tools and clean hands.
  5. Report concerns or complaints. Call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-512-6228 to discuss your concerns or file an anonymous complaint about a spa’s cleaning and disinfection practices.
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Be Spa Safe Checklists

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Frequently Asked Spa Safety Questions

Q: How can infections spread?
A: 
Serious infections can spread whenever infected skin, blood or body fluid comes into contact with another person.

If a spa worker is not properly washing his or her hands, or cleaning and disinfecting the tools and work surfaces, there is a risk of germs being transferred from one client to another. This can happen when:

  • The client’s skin is touched directly
  • There is a cut, tear or open wound on the client’s skin

Serious infections can be spread at salons and spas if they are not following proper precautions. They include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Skin infections
  • Nail fungus

Q: How should spa tools be properly handled?

A: There are many different tools that are used at spas. Some are to be used once and thrown away, as they cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected after each use. Other tools can be used more than once but must be cleaned and disinfected or sterilized between each client.

Refer to the Be Spa Safe Checklists to see which tools are to be used only once (single-use) and which ones are reusable. Do not be afraid to ask your spa for new single-use tools before your service.


Q: How should tools and work surfaces be cleaned?

A: Here are the proper steps for cleaning and disinfecting tools and work surfaces:

  1. Clean with water and detergent to remove dirt and debris
  2. Apply disinfectant to kill germs

Different tools need to be treated with different levels of disinfectant. For example, tools that come into contact with blood or body fluids must be treated with a higher level of disinfectant or be sterilized. Do not be afraid to ask your spa how they clean and disinfect their tools and work surfaces. See the Be Spa Safe Checklists section for more information.


Q: When should I avoid spa services?

A:  You should avoid getting a spa service when you have:

  • A cut, tear or open wound
  • A rash or skin infection
  • Irritated or severely dry and chapped skin
  • Just shaved your legs (avoid getting a pedicure)

Q: Does York Region inspect spas?

A: Yes. York Region public health inspectors inspect salons and spas at least once a year to:

  • Make sure salons and spas follow proper steps to reduce the risk of infection
  • Educate salon and spa operators and workers on best practice requirements
  • Respond to consumer complaints

York Region Public Health also inspects spas that operate out of private homes. For your protection, we recommend that you choose a salon or spa that is inspected. If a salon or spa passes an inspection, it will receive a green Proof of Public Health Inspection sign to post at its location.

York Region also provides spa owners, operators and workers voluntary training on how to prevent infections at the spa.

How can infections spread? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Spa Safety Videos

Check out these videos on infection prevention and control practices for salon and spa services:

Be Spa Safe: Know Before You Go video


Public Health and You: Salon & Spa Safety video

Used with permission from Region of Waterloo, Public Health, 2017.

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What is considered a salon or spa?

Salons and spas are also referred to as personal services settings. They can be offered in a store, private home or at special events such as trade shows, conventions, exhibitions, fairs and mobile premises. The following services may be offered:

  • Nail services (manicures and pedicures)
  • Facials
  • Waxing
  • Ear piercing
  • Hairdressing/barbering
  • Tattoo and body piercing
  • Electrolysis
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Spa Protocol and Best Practices

Public Health inspects personal services settings at least once a year to ensure businesses are in compliance with the Ontario Public Health Standard for Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Services Settings Protocol, 2016. This protocol does not apply to any regulated health professional under the Regulated Health Professions Act, or any other regulated health profession-specific legislation (i.e. physician’s offices).

Operators can learn about best practices by reading Infection Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings, 2009. This document provides the minimum standards for cleaning, disinfection, sterilization of equipment, maintenance of the premises, personal hygiene and basic infection control practices to reduce the risk of blood borne infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C , HIV and other types of infection for both clients and personal services settings workers.

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Be Spa Safe Promotion

Public Health makes Be Spa Safe posters and guides available to physician offices and community agencies for infection prevention promotion. For additional/replacement materials, call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-512-6228

Request a Be Spa Safe display for your health promotion special event. Public Health has the following Be Spa Safe materials: retractable banner, posters, quiz wheel, static displays, guides, electronic signs, wallet cards and giveaways/prizes. Please contact Public Health to discuss your event by calling Health Connection 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-512-6228


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“Infection Prevention: Always in Style” Workshop Description

Reduce the risk of infection to your customers by attending York Region’s Personal Services Settings workshop.

In the full-day workshop, participants learn:

  • Proper infection prevention practices in the following areas: hair dressing, barbering, waxing, ear piercing, laser hair removal, manicure, pedicure and facials
  • Prevention of blood-borne infections when providing spa services
  • Cleaning and disinfection of equipment and instruments
  • Infection prevention and control practices when delivering spa services
  • Personal services settings mandated requirements
  • What to expect when a Public Health inspector inspects your business

This workshop is offered to anyone who works or lives in York Region and is interested in the salon and spa industry. Registration is required. Light refreshments and workshop materials are provided. Workshops are offered in English.


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“Infection Prevention: Always in Style” Workshop Schedule

Scheduled Workshops*:

Date

Address

Monday, April 16

Vaughan

9060 Jane Street, Vaughan

Monday, June 11

South Services Centre

50 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill

Monday, October 1

Markham

4261 Hwy 7 East, Markham


*The Personal Services Settings workshop schedule, location and cost of are subject to change without notice. Public Health reserves the right to cancel a workshop based on the number of registrants.

Public Health offers onsite training to groups of eight or more people from a business or school. Please call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 to arrange for a Personal Services Settings Operator workshop (costs for workshop materials would apply).

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“Infection Prevention: Always in Style” Workshop Registration

The cost of the workshop is $20.00 (students $15.00) for materials. Low-cost and no-cost options may be available for qualified registrants. Please contact Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.

Credit card payment and online registration will be available soon.


Cash or cheque payment and registration can be made at the York Region offices listed , Monday to Friday (except on holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please make cheques payable to The Regional Municipality of York.

For more information or to register for the Infection Prevention: Always in Style workshop - call Access York 1-877-464-9675, TTY 1-866-512-6228.

Registration Locations

Newmarket – Administrative Centre
17250 Yonge Street, 1st floor
Access York counter – Room 12000
Newmarket, ON L3Y 4W5

Markham
4261 Highway #7 East, Suites B6-9 - reception
Unionville, ON L3R 9W6

Richmond Hill - South Services Centre
50 High Tech Road, 2nd floor reception
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4N7

Vaughan
9060 Jane Street, 1st floor information desk
Vaughan, ON L4K 2M9

Keswick
24262 Woodbine Avenue, reception
Keswick, ON L4P 3E9
Workshop registration only on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at this location

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Related Resources

Spa Safety Resources

Resources for Spa and Salon Operators and Workers

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