Occupational Asthma Reference

Harris-Roberts J, Bowen J, Sumner J, Stocks-Greaves M, Bradshaw L, Fishwick D, Barber CM, Work-related symptoms in nail salon technicians, Occup Med, 2011;61:335-340,

Keywords: rhinitis, nail bar, beauty, questionnaire, acrylate, methyl methacrylate, UK

Known Authors

Joanne Harris-Roberts (nee Elms), HSL, Buxton, UK Joanne Harris-Roberts (nee Elms)

David Fishwick, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK David Fishwick

Lisa Bradshaw, Health and Safety Laboratories Lisa Bradshaw

Chris Barber, Health and Safety Laboratories, Buxton Chris Barber

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Abstract

Background
Nail salons are a rapidly expanding small business sector. Environmental health practitioners have raised concerns about potential health and safety issues.

Aims
To establish the extent of work-related health issues reported by nail salon technicians, their knowledge of health and safety regulations and of the products used.

Methods
Nail technicians completed a researcher-administered questionnaire, and responses were compared to those of non-exposed office-based control subjects.

Results
In all, 39 of 588 nail salons approached agreed to participate (7%), with all 71 (100%) of the available nail technicians within these salons completing study questionnaires. The majority of the nail technicians (99%) had received training that had included aspects of health and safety and most reported being aware of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations (59/70, 84%) and risk assessments (65/70, 93%). Compared to the control group, the nail technicians reported statistically significant increased levels of work-related neck (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.6–15.6), shoulder (15.0, 3.1–71.8), wrist/hand (3.6, 1.2–10.7) and lower back problems (3.5, 1.0–12.5). Work-related nasal symptoms were also significantly more common in nail technicians (6.2, 1.3–30.7).

Conclusions
This study demonstrated a higher prevalence of a range of musculoskeletal problems and respiratory symptoms reported by nail technicians compared to office-based controls. An ergonomic and exposure assessment of work practices in this industry is warranted to identify the working practices associated with these symptoms, in order to inform best practice, supplement industry and regulatory guidance and develop appropriate practical work-based training.

Plain text: Background Nail salons are a rapidly expanding small business sector. Environmental health practitioners have raised concerns about potential health and safety issues. Aims To establish the extent of work-related health issues reported by nail salon technicians, their knowledge of health and safety regulations and of the products used. Methods Nail technicians completed a researcher-administered questionnaire, and responses were compared to those of non-exposed office-based control subjects. Results In all, 39 of 588 nail salons approached agreed to participate (7%), with all 71 (100%) of the available nail technicians within these salons completing study questionnaires. The majority of the nail technicians (99%) had received training that had included aspects of health and safety and most reported being aware of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations (59/70, 84%) and risk assessments (65/70, 93%). Compared to the control group, the nail technicians reported statistically significant increased levels of work-related neck (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.6-15.6), shoulder (15.0, 3.1-71.8), wrist/hand (3.6, 1.2-10.7) and lower back problems (3.5, 1.0-12.5). Work-related nasal symptoms were also significantly more common in nail technicians (6.2, 1.3-30.7). Conclusions This study demonstrated a higher prevalence of a range of musculoskeletal problems and respiratory symptoms reported by nail technicians compared to office-based controls. An ergonomic and exposure assessment of work practices in this industry is warranted to identify the working practices associated with these symptoms, in order to inform best practice, supplement industry and regulatory guidance and develop appropriate practical work-based training.

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