Despite the recession, the beauty and cosmetics industry in the UK has continued to enjoy an ever increasing, multimillion pound affair with male and female consumers alike. Whether it’s to save time doing it yourself, to achieve a more professional finish, or as a well-deserved pay day pick-me-up, who can blame us Brits for treating ourselves with a beauty treatment or two?
Unfortunately, beyond the gloss and glamour of the beauty counter, there lies a hidden world of botched jobs, burns and allergic reactions causing significant injuries to unsuspecting members of the public.
Many of the treatments provided across the UK in over 2000 salons require the use of chemicals which, if misused have the capacity to cause substantial injury. Examples of which are detailed below, these are not limited but may include:-
- burns/damage to skin from hot wax
- burns/damage to skin from laser treatment
- burns/damage to scalp from hair straighteners
- burns/damage to scalp from hair dye
- damage to teeth/gums following tooth whitening treatments
- eye injuries caused from the incorrect application of eyelash extensions
- allergic reactions from the products used due to non-testing prior to treatment being applied.
- burning/scarring to skin from the improper use and unmanned tanning booths
- damage caused by badly administered botox injections
The above list is by no means exhaustive, and unfortunately occur far more frequently than you would like to think. In all of these situations, it is really important to seek legal advice in the first instance in relation to your rights.
One of the main problems with the industry as a whole is the significant lack of regulation involved. Whilst there are certain enforceable rules, including the recent legislation making the use of sunbeds in England and Wales illegal for anyone under the age of 18, this is a rarity.
Whilst beauty technicians will often gain the consent of their clients, it is not sufficient for salon owners to hide behind the curtain of “a consent form’. It is important to establish what information, if any, was provided to you at the outset as to any potential reactions that may arise from the treatment.
Injuries may be caused as a result of the beautician/technician not being sufficiently qualified in that area of treatment or they may not have received sufficient training on the actual machines being used.
Furthermore in many cases, patch testing has not been undertaken by the salon prior to the treatment being administered. It is extremely important that this is carried out to ensure that the chemicals used are compatible to your skin.
Failure to draw a client’s attention to the risks associated with certain types of equipment, including sunbeds/laser equipment, can also be grounds for a claim.
In addition to customers receiving injuries, employees of Beauty Salons may also receive injuries as a consequence of their working conditions. For example, they may contract skin conditions such as dermatitis/eczema as a result of the chemicals they are coming into contact with on a daily basis. Asthma may be caused as a result of working with paint, glue, lubricants and detergents found in many of the beauty products used.
Employers have a duty to protect their staff as well as their customers.