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Assessment of Occupational Safety and Hygiene Perception among Afro-Caribbean Hair Salon Operators in Manchester, United Kingdom

Moda, Haruna and King, Debrah (2019) Assessment of Occupational Safety and Hygiene Perception among Afro-Caribbean Hair Salon Operators in Manchester, United Kingdom. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (18). pp. 3284-3295. ISSN 1660-4601

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Abstract

Because of exposure to a number of potential health hazards within the work environment, hairstylists experience occupational diseases that include occupational asthma, skin conditions and musculoskeletal diseases. The paucity of studies assessing occupational safety and hygiene management among Afro-Caribbean hair salon operators in the UK promoted the study. QualtricsTM was used to assess the participants’ perception of exposure to hair products and their personal safety and hygiene knowledge, attitudes, awareness, and risk perceptions at work. In five salons, indoor air quality was monitored over one working week for selected environmental pollutants: temperature, humidity, CO, CO2 and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) using a GrayWolf Direct Sense Indoor Air Quality-IAQ (IQ-610). The use of unflued gas heating to raise the indoor temperature was common among the salons’ operators which explains the high carbon monoxide readings recorded. Itchy eyes and nose (44.4%) shoulder, neck and back pain (39.2%) were frequently reported. Age-stratified analysis of reported occupational ailments showed participants within an age bracket of 31–35 reported allergies (24%) and itchy eyes and nose (19.1%) as the most common of occupational ailments. Respiratory, skin and musculoskeletal symptoms ranked as major occupational ill-health experiences among the study population. The study outcome demonstrated that the type of activity and the hair products used play an important role in the level of pollutants in the working environment. The substitution of the more harmful hair products with safer alternatives is needed, as is the encouragement of health surveillance

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