I encourage all of you to download the just-released “Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures” 20-page booklet created by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). It contains some helpful information and reminders on how to stay safe as a working nail tech, including information on protecting yourself from chemical and ergonomic hazards, plus information on your rights as a worker.
I found the pages on ventilation especially important. Here’s an excerpt:
> Open doors and windows when possible to let in fresh air. If the salon has a ceiling vent, it should be turned on and working.
> Always keep the nail salon’s exhaust system on.
> If your salon does not have an exhaust system, always keep the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system on during work hours. The HVAC thermostat fan switch should always be in the “on” position (not “auto”) so that it runs even when the heat or air conditioner is off. The salon owner should have a HVAC contractor clean the HVAC system and replace the filters at least once a year.
> Place fans near open doors or windows. Fans should pull air in one end of the salon and push it out of the other end.
> If the salon has ventilated tables: Make sure they are turned on; change the charcoal filters at least once a month; clean out the catch basin at least once a week.
> If the salon has portable ventilation machines, use them in your work area to pull harmful vapors away from you and your clients.