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Operator Services

If you are a customer go to manicures/pedicures for customers


printable fact sheet for operators

What is the health risk? 

Instruments and equipment used for manicures and pedicures may become contaminated with blood or body fluids carrying blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C or other infectious agents such as bacteria or fungi.

You do not have to see blood or body fluids on instruments for an infection to occur.
Clean and disinfect or sterilize instruments between clients.
Both the worker and the client can develop or spread an infection during a manicure/pedicure.

  • Thoroughly wash your hands before and after each client using liquid soap and warm water and use disposable paper towel.
  • Clients should wash their hands with liquid soap and warm water before a manicure.
  • Examine the client's nails for infection prior to offering the service. Do not provide nail services to a client who appears to have an infection, such as a yellow-green discolouration on the nail, redness or puffiness. Advise the client to see a doctor.
  • Dispose of razors/ credo blades immediately after use into a labeled sharps container.
  • Never overfill, empty or touch the contents of a sharps container.
  • Do not discard sharps into the municipal garbage. Sharps containers must be picked up by a licensed biomedical waste hauler.
  • Get vaccinated. Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended.
  • Avoid piercing the client’s skin, especially when cutting cuticles or filing nails.
  • Instruments/ equipment used on a client, such as nippers, clippers and scissors, must be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected using intermediate level disinfectant (at a minimum), such as 70% isopropyl alcohol and given 10 minutes of contact time, after each client.
  • Store multi-use tools in a clean, covered container when not in use.
  • Instruments that cannot be cleaned and disinfected, such as emery boards, orange sticks and toe separators, are single use and must be disposed of after each client.
  • Razor blades for shaving thickened/callous skin must be pre-packaged, sterile and disposed of in a sharps container after each use.
  • Clean and then disinfect work surfaces after each client using a low-level disinfectant, such as 1 tsp bleach with 10 cups of water and given 10 minutes of contact time, or cover all work surfaces with a clean, single-use covering, such as a towel, for each client.
  • Ensure all chemicals are stored and labeled appropriately.
  • Keep accidental blood and body fluid exposure records for five years and on-site for a minimum of one year.

Adapted from and used by permission of the Durham Region Health Department and Toronto Public Health

Operator Services

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Revised: Friday April 03 2020

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