The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has called upon all owners of Salons, Spas, Barber shops and beauty schools to put in place measures that control infections in their facilities, and seriously implement them most especially now, that the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call was made during an online stakeholder engagement with owners of salons, beauty schools and beauty products manufacturers organized by UNBS to sensitize the stakeholders about the Uganda Standard, US 713:2008 Requirements for hygiene in commercial skin penetration, hair dressing, beauty and natural therapy.
During the engagement, Dr. Safina Namugga Ngobya, the Principal Standards Officer stressed that exposure to infections like COVID-19, flu, cough, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Herpes, Hepatitis B and C, Warts, Tetanus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Athlete’s foot, nail fungus & yeasts, is high in beauty facilities given the interface with customers and time taken during service delivery.
Dr. Safina thus called for face coverings (face shields or facemasks) for all workers and clients at all times, daily health checks/assessments to ensure that employees are fit for work, good hygiene and sanitation at all times, personal hygiene, hand washing, and social distancing, well cleaned and sanitised workplaces and common spaces before and after working shifts as well as between clients, all in accordance to the standards.
She further recommended Limited capacity to fit the social distancing guidelines or 50% occupational capacity, attend to clients on appointments to limit crowding, Improve ventilation for enclosed spaces where possible, Install physical partitions between workstations where feasible, Use contactless payment methods such as mobile money where possible, Provide training to workers on safety standards and up-to-date safety information and remove non-essential amenities (magazines, customer-facing water or coffee, coat hangers/rooms etc.)
She also encouraged workers to learn how to self-identify COVID-19 symptoms and disclose a suspected COVID-19 case or any close contact to the employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing, and also establish and enforce sick leave policies to prevent the spread of disease.
Ms. Grace Amey Obeng, the Chairperson ARSO THC 12, acknowledged the challenges and opportunities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and urged beauty industry players to get as much knowledge as possible about COVID-19 prevention because visits to salons may reduce further if COVID-19 increases, but the beauty industry must not die.
She urged the players to seriously implement the standards laid out in US 713:2008 Requirements for hygiene in commercial skin penetration, hair dressing, beauty and natural therapy.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards continues to perform its mandate of developing, promoting and enforcing standards in protection of public health and safety, and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.