Report on EU Hairdressing Sector Outlines Occupational Risks, Actions to Protect Workers

Published March 19, 2014

​A report published last month by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) describes the occupational risks of hairdressers and discusses the actions being taken in the EU to protect workers and develop an integrated approach to health and safety in the hairdressing sector. The report divides the main occupational health and safety risks of workers in the hairdressing sector into nine categories: ergonomic factors; hazardous substances; biological factors; physical factors, including microclimate, noise, and lighting; electrical risks; slips, trips, and falls; burns and cuts; fire risks; and psychosocial factors, including bullying, intimidation, and sexual harassment. Each category describes these risks in greater detail.

In recent years, European social partners UNI Europa Hair & Beauty, part of the European trade union federation for services and communication, and Coiffure EU, an association of employers’ organizations active in the hairdressing sector, have been working to protect and promote occupational safety and health in the hairdressing sector. Their efforts resulted in an EU-level agreement signed in April 2012 called the European Framework Agreement on the protection of occupational health and safety in the hairdressing sector. The agreement regulates general provisions such as skin protection, prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, and mental health and well-being, and provides descriptions of protective measures applicable to the hairdressing sector.

A joint working group will be established at the European level to report annually on progress related to the agreement.

The report is available for download from EU-OSHA’s website.