Who Is Liable for Injuries at Nail Salons?
There’s nothing like a hand or foot massage and being pampered for an hour or two. Some clients are even able to justify it for business reasons when their occupation requires a professional look.
The fact is that the more time you spend in a nail salon, the more expensive it can get – so many potential clients often look for lower pricing. Cheaper salons make money by volume and stay busy, which means they may be cutting corners to keep chairs filled. Moving people through the salon faster often means cutting corners that can cause personal injuries in the pursuit of profits.
Who regulates nail salons?
The State Board of Cosmetology in Georgia regulates nail salons and establishes safety protocols to be followed, such as nail technicians being properly licensed. Nail spas can sometimes employ unlicensed nail technicians and rarely do clients pick up on that fact.
Nail technicians should have their license posted at their workstation. A license with a photo that doesn’t match the individual working on your hands or feet can indicate that you may be receiving services from someone who hasn’t passed the state exam. Passing the exam proves that a nail technician understands safety measures related to the use of chemicals and the prevention of infectious diseases.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s website is a great tool to research the qualifications of either a nail technician or a nail salon. Click here to check the credentialing status of a nail technician or a nail salon and to see whether any disciplinary actions have been taken.
What kinds of injuries can happen at a nail salon?
Like any business, nail salons owe a standard duty of care to every client who walks through the doors. If it can be proven that the nail salon breached its duty and caused you harm, you may have a claim against the business and the individual who injured you. Some of the situations that can create injury are:
- Buffing nails too thin and using UV/LED gels designed to react faster causing burns.
- Failing to sterilize instruments between clients then nicking someone with an infected instrument.
- Re-using disposable tools that contain fungus or an infection from a prior client.
- Failing to control water temperature for use in pedicures and causing scolding burns.
- Microwaving damp towels for use in manicures and pedicures and causing steam burn injuries.
- Using credo blades or other sharp instruments to remove calluses and cutting the skin.
Passing infectious diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis-C can occur by cutting an infected client and then cutting another client using the same tool shortly after without proper sanitation. Tools must be soaked for 20 minutes in a disinfectant or washed with soap and water and then dried in an autoclave for the proper length of time to kill viruses or bacteria.
Fish pedicures are legal but unsafe
Garra rufa fish are added to pedicure basins, where they eat dead skin from the feet leaving softer skin behind. Aside from the inability to sterilize the fish, these foot basins have led to outbreaks of non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections that cause boils and scars.
Additionally, the Chinese chinchin fish is frequently mislabeled as garra rufa and used in these pedicures. Unlike garra rufa fish, chinchin fish have teeth that can puncture the skin. Anyone who has a blood-born infection and bleeds into the tub can infect people who subsequently place their feet into that water.
Allowing an unlicensed or negligent nail technician to work on clients can lead to:
- Complaints being filed
- The salon being inspected
- A worker and/or owner being investigated
- Cosmetology license suspension or revocation
- Payment of fines
- Revocation of a business license
- A civil lawsuit being filed for causing injuries
If you or a loved one was injured during a visit to a nail salon or spa that left you needing expensive medical treatment and suffering out of pocket losses, protect yourself by contacting the caring Georgia personal injury attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP. We will evaluate the severity of your claim to determine whether you might be entitled to compensation. Schedule your free case evaluation by calling our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or you are invited to reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
Steve Lowry is an award-winning litigator who has secured record-setting jury verdicts on behalf of his clients. A passionate advocate for individuals who have been harmed by the actions of others, Steve has won numerous top 10 verdicts in Georgia.
Read more about Stephen G. Lowry here.