Not for Profit Corporation #822199-5

Code of Practice

Posted by admin on September 6, 2012

 INTRODUCTION

 WHAT IS A CODE OF PRACTICE?

 A code of practice is a statement of preferred work practices or arrangements that apply in the workplace that will help control hazards and reduce the risk of injury.  It documents an approved means of achieving compliance with the legislative requirements.  A code of practice may be approved by the legislation that governs your country usually under the Occupational Health and Safety Acts. Each and every province, state or country has their own legislation for Health and Safety.  It is the law and it may be used in court as evidence of good practice.  Each salon or grooming facility that grooms pets for compensation must display and have ready the appropriate Act for their province on location and convenient for staff members to refer too.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS PET GROOMING INDUSTRY CODE OF PRACTICE?

 

This Pet Grooming Industry Code of Practice provides practical guidance to the pet grooming industry for managing hazards commonly found in the workplace.  It is not intended to prescribe mandatory workplace practices, but rather provides a prompt when identifying hazards, assessing risks and developing appropriate control strategies to minimize the risk of injury.  It is designed to assist in achieving compliance with the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that legislation has passed for your own country.  The Pet Grooming Industry Code of Practice does no remove or diminishes any obligations specified under the Occupational Health and Safety Act or any other laws applying to Pet Groomers that apply to your country.

 

WHAT IS HAZARD MANAGEMENT?

 

Hazard management is the way hazards are controlled in the workplace.  The hazard management process is a simple process and follows the SAFE acronym:

 

Spot the hazard

Assess the risk (factors)

Fix the problem

Evaluate the results

 WHAT IS A HAZARD?

 A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm.

 WHAT IS A RISK FACTOR?

 A risk factor is anything that increases the likelihood of a hazard to cause harm.

 HOW DO I FIX THE PROBLEM (REDUCE THE RISK)?

 The hierarchy of control is the tool you need to use to reduce the risk of injury.

 HOW DO I USE THE HIERARCHY OF CONTROL?

 First ask yourself, “Can the hazard be ELIMINATED?”

This is the ideal solution.  For example, stop using a hazardous chemical.

If the answer is no....

Ask yourself, “Can the hazard be SUBSTITUTED?

Replace the hazard with a less harmful process or substance.  For example, swapping products for a less harmful chemical.

If the answer is no...

Ask yourself, “Can the hazard be ISOLATED?

For example, separating people from the hazard can reduce the risk of injury.

If the answer is no...

Ask yourself, “Can the hazard be REDESIGNED (or re-engineered)?

By changing the design, hazards can be removed.  For example, re-engineering work methods so harmful tasks are removed.

If the answer is no...

Ask yourself, “Can the hazard be controlled by ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS?

For example, rotating jobs, improving training or supervision, or using detailed work procedures. 

If the answer is no...

Finally ask yourself, “Can I use PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT to control the hazard?

For example, using gloves to prevent contact with chemicals or body fluids.

This option for controlling hazards should only be used if all other controls above cannot.

A combination of a number of control measures may also help reduce the risk of injury.  For example, SUBSTITUTING a hazardous substance with a less hazardous substance and also developing safe operating procedures to ensure the safe storage and handling (ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS).

After determining your control mechanisms, you need to re-assess whether the risk has been reduced to an acceptable level.

 

LEGISLATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

You will have to check with your province, state or region if outside of North America to identify the Occupational Health and Safety Act that apply to your business location.  These are the laws that governs safety in workplaces.  These Acts and or laws provide details on how hazards are to be controlled in the workplace, and support the Act that your government has passed and put into place.  These laws and or Acts places certain responsibilities (duty of care) on key parties to ensure the workplace is safe and that people employed at, engaged at or visiting the workplace, are free from injury.

These parties are:

Employers – who have an obligation to their employees to ensure they are safe from injury at work.  Specifically they must:

-          provide and maintain a safe working environment, safe systems of work, safe plant and substances, adequate facilities, and instruction, supervision and training.

-          Ensure any contractors, or people engaged by the contractor to work at their workplace, do not place at risk the health and safety of any person.

Employers also have an obligation to ensure the safety of any visitor to their workplace.  This involves:

-          providing safe access in to and out of their premises

-          controlling their exposure to hazards

-          providing trained and competent staff

 

Employees – who have an obligation while at work to:

-          take care of their own health and safety and the health and safety of others working around them

-          comply with any direction given by their employer regarding health and safety.

 

Designers, manufacturers, suppliers and installers – what have an obligation to ensure that they provide:

-          items that are safe to use

-          adequate information when supplying the item

-          a material safety data sheet (MSDS) that gives information about chemicals (if they are a supplier and when requested by the employer).

 

Contractors – who have an obligation to ensure that they”

-          follow the directions of the employer

-          work in safe manner

-          do not place at risk the health and safety of any person.


ERGONOMIC ISSUES

Manual tasks performed in the Pet Grooming industry can be physically demanding and are responsible for the majority of musculoskeletal disorders.  Commonly called occupational overuse syndrome, these disorders occur over time through repetitive strong movements or holding sustained or constrained posture for extended periods.

Disorders can include lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, tendonitis of the shoulder or wrist, leg discomfort and carpal tunnel syndrome.


WHAT ARE THE HAZARDS THAT CAN CAUSE INJURY?

These can include:

-          Repetitive movements

-          Holding sustained or constrained posture for extended periods.

-          Weight of dog

-          Activity level

-          Wet floors

-          Electrical equipment handling (with or without wet hands)

-          Faulty equipment

-          Noise pollution

-          Airborne objects

-          Bacteria and other possible parasites

 

WHAT FACTORS INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY AND HEALTH?

-          Your physical condition

-          Working too long in one position

-          Incorrect lifting techniques when lifting pets

-          Poor posture whilst working

-          Incorrect chair or grooming table design

-          Type and condition of the floor

-          Twisting whilst working

-          Repetitive movement

 

WHEN REDUCING THE RISK OF INJURY AND HEALTH, WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER?

-          Ensure staff are shown how to stand correctly

-          Vary tasks as much as possible

-          Move around clients using your feet rather than twisting to reach around them

-          Alternate between sitting and standing when working

-          Position the pet correctly and use height adjustable equipment where practical

-          Pick up heavy objects/pets correctly

-          Perform stretching exercises before starting work and in break periods.

-          Store items at an appropriate height to minimize bending and lifting

-          Ensure the floor surface is suitable and that there is adequate room around chairs to work

-          Fit heavy equipment with casters for ease of movement (where possible).

-          Ensure adequate rest periods between difficult tasks

-          Ensure adequate lighting in the workplace

-          Protective eyewear

-          Proper clothing and footwear

-          Wearing latex/vinyl/rubber gloves

 

CHEMICAL ISSUES

The Pet Grooming Industry uses a vast array of chemicals on a daily basis and the majority of the se chemicals are hazardous when handled incorrectly.  The effect that these chemicals have on the body varies considerably.  However, typical health conditions experienced are dermatitis, asthma, burns and cancer.

 

HOW DO CHEMICALS ENTER THE BODY?

-          By absorption – coming into contact with the skin

-          By ingestion – swallowing the substance

-          By inhalation – breathing in fumes

 

WHAT CHEMICALS POSE A HAZARD?

All chemical do!  All Pet Grooming products are hazardous if not used according to manufacturers’ directions.  But specifically:

-          hydrogen peroxide

-          bleach

-          tins, specifically those containing p-phenylene diamine and para-toluene diamine

-          disinfectants

-          shampoos, specifically those containing formaldehyde/formalin

-          styling products, specifically those containing glycerol monothioglycolate

Note: Do not use nickel-plated equipment with solutions containing ammonium thiolglycolate as a reaction will occur.  Only use high quality stainless steel or plastic equipment. 

 

WHAT FACTORS INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY?

-          Incorrect storage of chemicals (including inadequate labeling)

-          Poor ventilation

-          Not using the correct protecting clothing/equipment/footwear/hand protection

-          Not following manufacturers’ instructions

-          Mixing chemicals not designed to be mixed together

-          Poor work procedures

-          Poor personal hygiene

 

WHEN REDUCING THE RISK OF INJURY, WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER?

-          Refer to MSDA for all substances used in the workplace

-          Follow the MSDS and manufacturers’ instructions

-          Ensure people using chemicals are adequately instructed, trained and supervised

-          Provide proper ventilation for mixing and using chemicals

-          Store chemicals according to the manufacturers’ recommendations and your countries legislation on Occupational Health and Safety standards

-          Replace a substance with an alternative product that contains a less hazardous substance

-          Use personal protective equipment where necessary

-          Only mix chemicals that are recommended to be mixed together

-          Dispose of empty containers and leftover products correctly and according to manufacturers’ recommendations and local legislation

-          Ensure safe storage and handling procedures are developed and followed


BIOLOGICAL ISSUES (INFECTION CONTROL)

WHAT IS A BIOLOGICAL AND/OR PARASITE HAZARD?

A biological hazard may take the form of a virus, bacteria, fungus or other organism that can cause harm when it enters the body.

In the Pet Grooming Industry, blood and body fluid diseases like Hepatitis B, C and HIV pose a significant hazard.  In the Pet Grooming Industry, working closely with pets/animals, pose a risk of infection transfer from pet/animal to human, such as Mange Mites and Nail Fungus.

Caution needs to be applied when working with team mates/groomers and/or clients as well.

Mange is a parasitic mite infestation that causes itching and rashes.

Sarcoptic Mange, can cause extreme discomfort in humans.  Mites are highly contagious and can spread through physical contact.  In humans, it is referred to as Scabbies, crusted Scabbies is the most contagious of all and can pass not only from contact with skin, but from clothing as well.

Flea infestation must be treated with care as bites to humans can cause tapeworm and possible skin inflammation.  Animals with Ticks should be isolated and treated with proper pesticides shampoos and these parasites can also burrow into human skin and must be removed promptly.  Tick bites have been known to cause death in humans as well as in animals due to the diseases they carry.

 

HOW DOES INFECTION OCCUR?

The most common way for infection to occur is when blood or bodily fluid from one person/pet enters the body of another person/pet.  This usually occurs:

-          by a skin-penetrating injury; for example, accidentally piercing the body with a contaminated instrument

-          through broken skin from a cut, wound or dermatitis

-          through mucous membranes; for example, blood splashing in a person’s mouth or eye

Both the Pet Groomer and the Pet can be exposed to this type of hazard, so procedures need to be developed to protect both.

 

WHAT ACTIVITIES INCREASE THE RISK OF EXPOSURE TO THESE HAZARDS?

Typically, activities that use:

-          scissors

-          clippers

-          shavers

-          tweezers

-          razors

-          wax in ears

-          nail cutting

-          preparation of animal prior to bathing

-          working with a team mate that may be infected

-          working with a client that may be infected who is holding or assisting with their animal

 

WHAT FACTORS INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY?

-          Coming into contract with blood or body/pet fluids from another person or pet; for example, when administering first aid incorrectly

-          Handling contaminated equipment.  Blood or body/pet substances do not have to be visible on an instrument for an infection to be transmitted

-          Poor personal hygiene

-          Not wearing protective clothing and hand protection

 

WHEN REDUCING THE RISK OF INJURY, WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER?

-          Replace re-usable equipment with single-use equipment (including razors and towels)

-          Use gloves at all times

-          Use dull-tip scissors

-          Ensure surfaces, furniture and fittings are made of non-absorbent materials

-          Ensure all surfaces are adequately cleaned

-          Separate clean and contaminated waste is placed in a leak-proof bag or container, and is sealed

-          Develop and implement administrative procedures for:

  • cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing, and storing re-usable equipment
  • dealing with spills of blood and body/pet fluid spills
  • limiting exposure to blood and body fluid (including skin penetration)
  • disposing of contaminated waste
  • cleaning and storing contaminated laundry

-          Immunize workers

-          Maintain good personal hygiene through washing hands frequently

-          Wear clothing that reduces the opportunity of body/pet fluids contacting the skin

 

ELECTRICAL ISSUES

Electricity is a significant hazard in the Pet Grooming Industry.  Contact with electricity can be fatal and the risk of exposure needs to be controlled.

 

WHAT FACTORS INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY?

-          Using electrical appliances in wash/wet areas (water conducts electiricity)

-          Exposed wiring on electrical appliances such as hand-held dryers

-          Poorly grounded appliances

-          Overloading power circuits or power points

-          Poorly maintained electrical equipment (such as damaged cords)

-          Incorrectly using electrical equipment

-          Excess length of cords and cords that restrict or impede the use of portable electrical appliances

 

WHEN REDUCING THE RISK OF INJURY, WHAT SHOULD BOTH EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES CONSIDER?

-          Ensure all operators are trained to correctly use electrical appliances

-          Routinely inspect all electrical equipment prior to use

-          Withdraw damaged or suspect electrical equipment from use

-          Routinely test all electrical equipment by a competent and suitably qualified person, and record the results

-          Install Ground Fault Interrupter (GFIs) to all circuits

-          Ensure that electrical equipment (including power bars) are installed and used correctly

-          Ensure competent and suitable licensed people perform any maintenance work

-          Ensure there are enough electrical power outlets for the portable electrical appliances being used

-          Ensure electrical power outlets are located so that:

  • cords are no longer then they need to be
  • cords do not restrict or impede the operator in using an appliance

-          Use double insulated electrical appliances as much as possible

-          Ensure staff know where to turn off the electricity supply in the even of an emergency

-          Housekeeping issues

Numerous hazards ca exist in the workplace if poor housekeeping practices are not allowed to occur.  These hazards will vary workplace to workplace.

 

WHAT TYPES OF HAZARDS MAY EXIST IN MY WORKPLACE?

-          Wet floors

-          Cut hair accumulating on floors, walkways, and hallways

-          Trip hazards such as electrical cords spread around floor

-          Hot water

-          Inadequate ventilation

-          Restricted or blocked walkways

-          Spills

-          Hazardous substances

-          Inadequate lighting

 

WHAT FACTORS INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY?

-          Poor housekeeping procedures; for example, not identifying and signposting wet and slippery floors

-          Using or storing electrical appliance cords incorrectly; for example, letting electrical leads encroach into work areas and across walkways

-          A lack of safe operating procedures for safely handling and storing hazardous substances

-          Incorrectly labelled, or unlabelled, containers

 

WHEN REDUCING THE RISK OF INJURY, WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER?

-          Ensure wet floors are adequately identified

-          Ensure electrical cords are clear of work areas and walkways

-          Ensure routine inspections are made to identify hazards (and record the results of these)

-          Ensure appropriate footwear and protective clothing (including hand protection) is worn when necessary

-          Ensure staff are adequately instructed and trained to identify and control hazards

-          Ensure all spills are cleaned up promptly

 

CONCLUSION/DISCLAIMER

This Pet Grooming Industry Code of Practice provides practical guidance to employers and employees as they work towards reducing the risk of injury in the workplace.  This Pet Grooming Industry Code of Practice primarily supports the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for the various provinces in Canada or throughout the United States and Europe.  It is not intended to prescribe mandatory workplace practices but rather provides a prompt when identifying hazards in the workplace, assessing risks and developing appropriate control strategies to minimize the risk of injury.

This Pet Grooming Industry Code of Practice does not remove or diminish any obligations specified under any Occupational Health and Safety Act or any other laws applying to Pet Groomers worldwide.