1 Introduction 2 Comparison with a traditional salon. 3 What I’ll do 4 What I’ll ask of you 5 Conclusion
- If I was my client, I’d like to know what I’m doing in response to the pandemic. According to Working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes, because I am a sole trader I don’t have to write anything down as part of my risk assessment. None-the-less I have begun this assessment process and I’d like us to consider it before your booking. By thinking through how each visit is likely to take place, I have begun to identify appropriate practical and etiquette adjustments I can make in response to controlling the risk posed by the pandemic. I feel I have been cautious by going into this level of detail but perhaps you feel I could go further (eg. I could wear gloves). This is why I am keen to get your feedback and keep it updated for as long as it takes us to get familiar with what the longer term implications of COVID-19 are.
- Working for myself as a freelance independent hairstylist gives me a great deal of flexibility in who’s advice I take. I have focused on the government advice documents (below) because I have been dismayed at the commercial opportunism of official industry bodies having read through their various back-to-work guidance documents. No doubt this isn’t unique to the hairdressing industry.
- The opportunity to return to work refocused on the fragility of our environment is being missed and instead increased disposable waste and unnecessary gadgets and gizmos are being promoted. Gadgets, gizmos and waste which create a false sense of security and which in turn – I fear – will see basic measures slip. This poses significant short and long term risk, but those are somewhat out of the remit of my assessment here. I too am subject to them, for example I have decided to use paper gowns.
- At present my assessment is split into five sections. Whether you have special adjustments you’d like me to make or other comments or suggestions on any of this, I would very much appreciate your feedback via a private message or ideally in the comments section.
2 Comparison with a traditional salon
- With a traditional setup, multiple clients come to visit a salon where there are multiple workers. As illustrated by the black lines the increased risk of infection is clear.
- The way in which I work with a very small kit and visiting one client at time allows me to disinfect all my equipment thoroughly between clients.
- Being a cyclist, I do not travel on public transport and as I visit you, you don’t need to either.
- Furthermore visiting one client at a time and following up means that in the event of infection at any point, we will know exactly who else needs to be alerted.
3 What I’ll do
- Arrive on my bike as usual and we’ll probably discuss what alternative greeting we’d like to use!
- Wash my hands on arrival and departure.
- Request we consider cutting outside weather permitting, if you have access to an outdoor area.
- Wear a face covering by default and other PPE at your request while I am with you.
- Leave my coat, bag, etc. at the door and bring only a very small sanitised essential kit in with me which will consist of:
- water spray,
- 2 clips,
- manual clippers (if req),
- surgical spirit spray,
- paper gown.
- Use disposable paper gowns instead of the nylon gown I used to use.
- Follow up after 7 and 14 days asking that you confirm that nobody in your household has developed symptoms.
- Experiment with wearing clear glasses to remind me not to touch my face and eyes.
- I will NOT use gloves because there’s a very subtle sense of touch sensitivity required of the hair tension, however I will be extra vigilant with re-washing my hands immediately before and after cutting your hair.
- I will NOT bring or use any brushes, razor, hairdryer or any other equipment unless otherwise explicitly agreed beforehand and provided by you.
4 What I’ll ask of you
- That you read this risk assessment (thanks for making it this far!)
- That we book a virtual consultation in advance, via email, chat, telephone, video call or in combination.
- Confirm there is nobody in the household who is isolating or has been advised to shield.
- Give us exclusive use of the room and keep the internal doors open to avoid handle contact.
- Wear a face covering by default, however there will be brief moments when I’ll need you to remove it (; eg for me to fully process my facial recognition algorithms and to avoid cutting the mask strap)
- I’ll ask you do NOT offer me any food or drink, but thanks though!
- Maybe you found some of this too much – or not enough – detail, either way, I’d love to know what your thoughts are. As an example I have been considering wearing slippers, gloves, and using herbal based sanitiser in place of surgical spirit…
- I will be reviewing this assessment on an ongoing basis each change will be numbered (this is why each part of the whole document is numbered). Whether you have special adjustments you’d like me to make or other comments or suggestions on any of this, please get in touch.
- The pandemic has been a very odd experience so far and there are plenty of other things I wanted to write about related to the pandemic and hairdressing. Getting this assessment started has taken priority over those things. It’s been great to see the increased traffic on my website and thanks to everyone for holding out so long. I’ve enjoyed responding to your enquiries. I’m really looking forward to cutting hair again.