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Operator Information

Operational Requirements

printable fact sheet for operators


What things should I do — and have — in my shop?

Equipment & cleanliness

To protect yourself and your clients from infection you must:

  • Have a labeled, puncture-resistant sharps container.

This container must be picked up by a licensed biomedical waste transporter. NEVER dump its contents into the municipal garbage.

  • Have at least one sink for handwashing.

    This sink must:

    • Be located near the work area (and ideally in a separate room).
    • Always be supplied with liquid soap and single-use paper towel.
    • Always have hot and cold running water.

    You can use a single sink for both handwashing and cleaning equipment if the sink is:

    • Conveniently located.
    • Available for handwashing during procedures.
    • Large enough to fit the biggest piece of equipment for cleaning.
  • Store cleaning tools in a separate room (away from the work area).
  • Clean your re-usable equipment either manually, using a detergent and a scrub brush, or in an ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Disinfect or sterilize your equipment after cleaning.
  • Wash and dry all used towels, robes and linens after each client.
  • Keep clean items (such as linens and instruments) from getting dirty by covering them or placing them in a drawer or cabinet.

Work surfaces and areas

  • Your work areas must be clean, tidy and well lit.
  • Your work surfaces, such as headrests and tables, must be:
    • Smooth, non-absorbent and easy to clean. 
    • Cleaned and disinfected with a low-level disinfectant after each client.

Before and during a procedure

Do…                   

Don’t…

  • Wash your hands for least 20 seconds with soap and warm running water and use disposable paper towel before and after each client and before and after using gloves. Using gloves is not a substitute for hand washing.

  • Use single-use applicators to dispense creams or lotions.

  • Use barriers such as gloves, gowns and eye protection when appropriate to protect yourself from body fluids. 
  • Reuse single-use equipment, instruments or applicators.

  • Double dip. Dipping an instrument or applicator twice can cause infections.

  • Eat, drink or smoke while performing a procedure.

  • Provide a service to a client who has any cuts, wounds, rashes or visible infections.


Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings section for specific information about the services you offer.

What’s the difference between a single-use and reusable item?

Single-use items are disposable items: instruments you must throw away after using only once.

Disposable instruments are made from materials that you can’t properly clean or disinfect, such as disposable razors, sponges, needles, emery boards, orange sticks, toe separators, and popsicle (wood) sticks.

You must throw away single-use items after each client.

Reusable items must be either disinfected or sterilized to be used on more than one client.

These items are made from hard metal or plastic materials that are easy to clean, such as tattoo machine, nippers, clippers, scissors, ear piercing gun, combs and brushes. 

You must clean and then disinfect or sterilize reusable items after each client.

What types of records should I keep?

As an owner or operator of a personal services setting (a place that provides an aesthetic service such as a hair salon, a tattoo studio, piercing or an electrolysis clinic), you must keep accurate records of:

  • Any procedure that penetrates the skin.
  • Any accidental injury to a client’s or service-provider’s skin.
You must keep your records for a minimum of five years and on-site for one year.

Your records should include the:

  • Date of procedure/ injury.
  • Client’s name, address and telephone number.
  • Personal service worker’s name.
  • Procedure carried out/circumstances of the injury.
  • Site of the injury.
  • Action(s) taken.
  • Method to maintain client confidentiality for stored  on-site records for 1 year and off-site for 5 years. (To be used only in the event of a health risk in order to notify the client.)

You must keep records of every time you use your sterilizer for at least five years and on-site for one year.  

You must record the following, every time you use the sterilizer:

  • Date
  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Cycle length

You must also keep copies of spore test results for at least five years and on-site for one year.





Operator Services

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Revised: Monday May 02 2011

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