The Government will determine the date you may return to work. Do not be influenced in anyway by fake news! Currently the return to work date for all sectors of our industry, including mobiles and freelancers, in England is 4 July, but is conditional on the ‘R’ number remaining below 1 in the period to the 4 July.
In the continued absence of any formal Government guidance regarding what the industry must have in place for health, safety and hygiene purposes for returning to work, this Back to Work Plan will help you plan for re-opening, in a way that will give your staff and customers the confidence they need to know that you have taken all the precautions you can to protect them whilst on your premises.
If the Government, in the meantime, gives the industry formal guidance on what they require of us, that will take priority in the parts they mention over this plan.
Prior to Re-Opening Checklist
Producing a Risk Assessment would be an excellent start to preparing for the Re-opening of your business. These are simple to prepare; outlining the potential risks and hazards to the premises, the staff and customers of Covid-19, what the risks are, at what level and what you can do to reduce the level of risks to the best of your ability to anyone entering the premises.
– Employees must wash their hands thoroughly before and after each customer service, in addition to other general hand washing duties/times.
– Thorough cleaning of all equipment (salon owned or personally owned) before and after each treatment and a plan for general cleaning and disinfecting of equipment should be in place. (Barbicide or another industry -approved product can be used).
– Thorough cleaning of surfaces such as handles, handrails, light switches, tables, computers that are touched by many.
– Laundry, such as towels and gowns (although disposable towels and gowns would be a good option), to be washed on a hot temperature following each usage.
If using washable gowns, they should only be used once, with disposable capes over the top of those gowns.
Reception and retail Area –
Discard old magazines and other non-essential items in the waiting area that cannot be disinfected.
– Clean and disinfect all hard, non-porous surfaces such as the reception counter, computer keyboard, phones, door handles, light switches and point of sale equipment – make sure to follow contact time for all surfaces (Barbicide or similar industry-approved products can be used).
– Consider online scheduling in place of written appointment cards.
– Clean and disinfect all shelving, glass and display cases; keep product containers and perspex partitions clean and dust free.
– Ensure you communicate to your customers and staff that you have taken all possible precautions to look after their health and safety whilst on your premises. This can be done by placing a sign in your window, via social media and on your salon/barber shop website. (See draft example letter of reassurance at the end of this plan which could be used/implemented/adapted).
– Use card transactions rather than cash whenever possible.
– Consider taking payment in advance for hair or barber services.
– Place a hand sanitiser on reception desk for clients to use when entering the salon and barbershop.
– Clean and disinfect all surfaces.
– Replace any soft goods (toilet paper, paper towels etc).
– Consider upgrading to touchless soap dispensers, if you are unable to do this ensure liquid bacterial/soap is available and paper towels where possible.
– Consider adding touchless, automatic hand sanitiser dispensers. – Ensure there is a rubbish container in the room.
– Remove any products that do not belong in the bathroom – nothing should be stored in a bathroom that isn’t needed.
– Any linens that may have been left in the salon prior to lockdown (clean or dirty) should be washed on a hot temperature with detergent and dry until “hot to the touch” .There should be no moisture or dampness in any linen.
– Launder all towels and capes.
– All linens should be stored in closed, covered cabinets if possible until used.
ALL health, safety and hygiene precautions MUST be followed at all times. The steps below are best practice and may go above and beyond what is officially required.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
– Ensure any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used is single use wherever possible and must be changed after each client ie gloves, masks, aprons etc – Use face protection ie a facemask, or a visor (depending on Government guidelines and your own business requirements).
– Use gloves and aprons (disposable if possible) wherever possible and certainly whilst washing hair.
– Hands must be washed after removing gloves following every service. Hand Hygiene – Wash hands with soap/water for 20-30 seconds before/after eating, smoking and using the bathroom.
– Wash hands immediately before and after providing a customer service, and in between the service where necessary (keep hand sanitiser available as well where possible).
– If possible, provide hand sanitiser at reception desk and all stations for customers to use.
– All towels/capes laundered after a single use. Better to consider using paper towels if possible.
– All towels/linens dried until “hot to the touch”.
– All towels/linens stored in a closed, covered container if possible.
– When visiting customers in their own homes, it is imperative that the hairdresser/barber follows the same rigorous hygiene regime with regards to equipment, gowns, and towels and in accordance and with the commitment and co-operation of the customer.
– It would be sensible to contact the customer prior to their appointment to outline what you expect of them to protect you and them.
– It would be prudent to put together whilst preparing for coming out of lockdown, a ‘Risk Assessment’ based upon the risks you perceive to both parties with you visiting their homes, and sharing this with them prior to your visit.
– Asking them to tell you if they or anybody else in their household has been ill in the last 7-14 days.
– Requesting that during your visit, there are not any other family members, children or animals in the same room as you and your customer whilst carrying out the hair service.
– Asking that all surfaces prior to your arrival are cleaned and disinfected. In addition, to inform them that you will call them when you arrive outside their home, to then be asked to enter once all the necessary hygiene, health and safety aspects of your visit have been properly taken care of.
– This is somewhat of a partnership between you and the customer, both looking after each other’s health, safety and well-being.
– Consider taking payment in advance of the appointment.
– Consider holding consultations prior to the appointment.
Draft possible letter of reassurance to provide to Customers: (Can be used and adapted to suit your individual businesses)
Dear Valued Customer, We understand your concerns about entering our salons/barber shops following the lockdown restrictions being relaxed, and this notification is to ensure you that we have done all we can to protect your health, safety and well being whilst you are visiting our salon/barbershop! The safety of our staff and our customers is our highest priority and is of paramount importance to us, and this is to inform you of the following precautions have been implemented:
We Have: Cleaned and disinfected all surfaces and implements. Laundered and/or disinfected all capes, towels and linens Removed any non-essential items throughout our salon/barber shop/business Initiated contactless methods of scheduling and payment Acquired appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used when necessary and as directed by Government Discontinued the practice of hand shaking and other non-essential contact Re-trained our staff on essential hygiene control and hand hygiene practices Please relax and enjoy your time in our salon/barber shop today!
NB: Add in anything else you think needed/appropriate.