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4 tips for safely maintaining your PPE

By Guest Writer | 10 September 2020 | Expert Advice, Feature

Ppe Visor

With salons operating under strict Covid-19 guidelines, its important to pay attention to the condition of your protective equipment. Kelly Friel, from PPE experts Zoro, shares four tips for ensuring yours is fit for purpose and properly maintained.

In July, the UK finally saw the reopening of many beauty salons for certain services, including those that offer nail treatments. However, this ‘new normal’ for salon owners also came with a set of new rules for close contact services from the government to reduce the threat of Covid-19 to employees and customers.

Among the rules are new guidelines for what level of personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to be worn by staff in the salon. Therefore, you need to take great care in choosing the right PPE, as well as correctly maintaining and disposing of it.

Clean PPE thoroughly after use
If you’ve chosen reusable PPE rather than disposable equipment, then you will have to take steps to ensure that it is cleaned thoroughly and regularly so that it is safe to use again. Items that you were using before the pandemic can still be cleaned and disinfected in the same way as you did before, but extra care must be taken to ensure this is carried out frequently.

You can use normal cleaning products to wash and disinfect your staff’s face visors, and PPE should be worn by anyone doing so. I recommend that you submerge the visor in warm water to dislodge any particular matter, before using a mild detergent to wash the surface of the screen with a soft cloth or sponge. You can then use an alcoholic wipe to carry out a final thorough cleaning.

Regularly inspect PPE
Another consideration you’ll need to make when maintaining your PPE is routinely inspecting them for any signs of damage. This should be done for all items of protective equipment, as there’s always a risk that infectious particles can enter the body by remaining on the hands or clothing.

I recommend informing your staff that they need to visually inspect any item of PPE before they use it, whether it’s disposable or reusable. If there’s any fault, disposable items should be discarded for a new set, while reusable items should be set aside to be assessed for repairs. If a reusable item can’t be repaired so that its safe to use, it should be thrown away and a replacement provided.

Its also worth inspecting reusable items once more after they’ve been used to catch any damage as early as possible and reduce the risk of a faulty item being worn again.

Store PPE in a clean and hygienic location
To ensure that PPE is safe for use it should be stored in a clean and hygienic location, away from any areas that may be prone to contamination. This applies to both disposable and reusable equipment. Any reusable items that are cleaned should be moved to storage as soon as possible to limit their contact with potentially infectious areas. You should also regularly clean your chosen location to make sure it remains hygienic.

Dispose of any PPE responsibly
Alongside rules for working safely, the government also introduced guidelines for safely disposing of waste that businesses should follow. This includes advice that you should provide additional bins for staff and clients to throw away disposable face coverings and PPE, as well as taking steps to ensure they don’t put them into any recycling, as it’s not possible to process potentially contaminated waste at the moment.

You should also try to make sure that bins are emptied often, so there’s no overflow. If you’re not sure, it’s worth checking with whoever collects your waste to check the safety steps you need to follow when processing PPE.

Remember, the government’s advice is subject to change, so always check the rules to ensure you’re up to date.