Unit of competency details

SIHHOHS201A - Apply salon safety procedures (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 19/Aug/2013
(View details for release 1) Replaced20/Jul/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SHBXWHS002 - Provide a safe work environmentNot Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages.• Titled changed to more accurately reflect application of the unit. • Unit changed to cross-sector.• Elements added to cover infection risks to self and clients, safe use of electrical equipment and cleaning.• Handling and using chemicals incorporated in a range of technical SHBH units including Colour and Lightening, Hair Reformation, Trichology. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes WRHCS205A - Follow personal health and safety routines at workNew unit - Expanded to include the content of WRHCS205A plus basic safety and emergency procedures that comply with National Health and Safety Commission guidelines 19/Jul/2011

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

The release details of this endorsed unit of competency are set out in the table below. The latest information is at the top.




Editorial corrections. Competency field added.


Initial release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes skills and knowledge required to apply safe hairdressing working practices, according salon procedures. It covers operator skin protection, hygiene, healthy posture, appropriate footwear, safe handling and of chemicals and hairdressing equipment, procedures for emergency situations, evacuation and responding to an accident or illness. It encompasses the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) guidelines for occupational health and safety.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to hairdressers and hairdressers in training engaged in the provision of a broad range of services in hairdressing salons.

A person in this role applies discretion and judgement and accepts responsibility for outcomes of own actions.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Handle and use chemicals safely.

1.1. Recognise the symptoms, causes and common forms of occupational contact dermatitis  and implement salon preventative self-care routines. 

1.2. Wear protective gloves for hairdressing chemical services , according to product safety data and salon preventative routines.

1.3. Wear facial masks and goggles when mixing colour and lightening products, according to product safety data sheets and salon procedures .

1.4. Protect skin in regular contact with water and shampoo by regular application of skin protective barrier creams.

1.5. Wear protective gloves when diluting cleaning and disinfecting products, according to product instructions and salon procedures.

1.6. Follow salon procedures to minimise water and product waste.

2. Handle hairdressing equipment safely.

2.1. Hold scissors with points away from the body and pass with handles away from the body.

2.2. Wipe scissor blades with care away from the body and towards the point.

2.3. Remove, replace and dispose of used razor blades, according to salon procedures and state or territory health regulations.

2.4. Switch off electrical sockets when inserting and removing plugs on thermal equipment.

2.5. Withdraw equipment with loose wires, according to salon maintenance procedures.

3. Practise personal hygiene and healthy posture.

3.1. Wash hands with anti-bacterial cleanser before and after client contact.

3.2. Implement salon procedures after known contact with infectious disorders of the hair and scalp.

3.3. Wear posture-supportive closed toe footwear in the salon.

3.4. Avoid operator bending and stretching by adjusting client chairs up or down where possible.

3.5. Maintain posture that includes straight back and shoulders when bending from the knees.

4. Apply basic safety procedures.

4.1. Follow safety procedures  to achieve a safe work environment, according to relevant OHS legislation and codes of practice, relating to particular hazards in the industry or workplace.

4.2. Identify and report unsafe working practices , including faulty plant and equipment , according to salon policy and procedures .

4.3. Manage dangerous goods and substances according to salon policy and relevant legislation.

4.4. Identify potential manual-handling  risks and manage manual-handling tasks, according to salon policy.

4.5. Report work-related incidents and accidents to designated personnel .

4.6. Participate in consultative processes  and procedures for OHS.

5. Apply basic emergency procedures.

5.1. Follow fire and emergency procedures , including salon evacuation, according to salon policy and legislation.

5.2. Identify designated personnel responsible for first aid and evacuation procedures.

5.3. Accurately identify safety alarms.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • advise supervisors of contact with infectious disorders of the hair and scalp
  • interact with clients when adjusting chairs
  • report unsafe work practices, faulty plant and equipment, incidents and accidents
  • share information
  • technical skills to:
  • handle hairdressing equipment safely
  • locate and using safety alarms, fire extinguishers and emergency exits
  • use personal protective gear and equipment
  • literacy skills to:
  • interpret and apply product instructions and safety data sheets
  • interpret symbols used for OHS signage
  • identify hazardous goods and substances
  • interpret and apply health regulations
  • interpret and apply salon procedures
  • numeracy skills to:
  • dilute cleaning chemicals
  • measure and mix cleaning chemicals and hairdressing products to minimise waste

Required knowledge 

  • causes and symptoms of occupational contact dermatitis
  • common forms of occupational contact dermatitis
  • preventative skin care routines
  • salon safety and hygiene procedures
  • salon emergency procedures
  • procedures for reporting:
  • unsafe work practices
  • faulty plant and equipment
  • state or territory and local health regulations relating to dealing with infectious disorders of the hair and scalp
  • standard infection control precautions
  • healthy posture and the impact of poor or incorrect posture
  • methods of safe handling for a variety of hairdressing products, tools and equipment from the salon range

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • consistently applying safe and hygienic work practices, in all areas of the salon, according to salon policy, OHS legislation and state or territory health regulations.
  • applying salon procedures for reporting faults, required repairs and problems to the relevant person
  • interpreting and applying manufacturer instructions and safety data for storage, use and disposal of chemicals and hazardous goods
  • applying salon procedures with regard to emergency situations, evacuation, or accident and illness in the salon.
  • interpreting and applying product instructions and safety data sheets for mixing, using and disposal of chemicals
  • following salon procedures to minimise water and product waste.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a salon or a simulated salon environment that includes a range of work situations such as client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the salon
  • suitable equipment and materials for lifting
  • relevant documentation, such as:
  • product instructions
  • product safety data sheets
  • salon policy and procedures
  • OHS regulations
  • state or territory health regulations
  • a range of cleaning products
  • a range of professional hairdressing chemicals.

For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of the learner:
  • handling and using hairdressing chemicals
  • safely handling hairdressing tools and equipment
  • implementing salon safety and hygiene procedures
  • applying self skin care practices when working with chemicals
  • written or verbal questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test knowledge which may include:
  • causes and symptoms of occupational contact dermatitis
  • common forms of occupational contact dermatitis
  • preventative self care routines
  • state or territory and local health regulations relating to dealing with infectious disorders of the hair and scalp
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party reports of on-the-job performance.

Guidance information for assessment 

A unit of competency describes an individual skill but people rarely perform one skill at a time. Many skills are combined on a day-to-day basis in the workplace as part of work processes. This does not mean that each skill described by a unit of competency is prerequisite to another they are related skills.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role, is recommended for example:

  • SIHHIND201A Maintain and organise tools, equipment and work areas
  • SIHHCLS201A Apply hair colour products
  • SIHHCLS302A Colour and lighten hair

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Symptoms  may include:

  • condition of the skin, including:
  • dry
  • flaking
  • split and cracked
  • itchy
  • blisters and welts on the skin
  • swelling of fingers, hands, wrists
  • runny nose, sneezing and asthma.

Causes  may include:

  • irritants, including:
  • frequent and ongoing exposure to water
  • shampoos and styling products
  • soaps and detergents
  • heat
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • chemical curling and straightening products
  • allergy to particular products, including:
  • hair dyes
  • chemical curling and straightening products
  • bleach products
  • latex in natural rubber, such as that found in cheap, powdered, disposable latex gloves.

Common forms of occupational contact dermatitis  may include:

  • irritant contact dermatitis
  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • contact urticaria.

Preventative self care routines  may include:

  • using skin moisturisers:
  • regularly during the working day
  • at the end of the working day
  • before bed
  • wearing gloves that are:
  • specifically designed for hairdressers use
  • powder free, high quality latex
  • developing the habit of wearing gloves
  • throwing away disposable gloves after each use
  • wearing re-usable rubber gloves when cleaning in the salon
  • keeping the contaminated surface of re-usable rubber gloves on the outside
  • not wearing rings while working with moisture and chemicals.

Hairdressing chemical services  may include:

  • curling, volumising and straightening products including:
  • solutions
  • neutralisers
  • hair colouring products
  • hair lightening products.

Salon procedures  may include:

  • cash handling
  • emergency, fire and accident procedures
  • evacuation involving staff or customers
  • handling dangerous goods
  • hazard identification, for example, e.g. workplace inspections
  • issue resolution procedures
  • manual handling
  • personal safety procedures
  • procedures for the use of personal protective clothing and equipment
  • reporting incidents and accidents in the workplace
  • salon security
  • stress management
  • waste disposal.

Unsafe working practices  may deal with but are not restricted to:

  • sharp cutting tools and instruments
  • electricity and water
  • damaged packing material or containers
  • toxic substances
  • inflammable materials and fire hazards
  • lifting practices
  • spillages, waste and debris
  • ladders
  • trolleys
  • broken or damaged equipment
  • glue guns
  • stress.

Checking plant and equipment  may include:

  • guarding of machinery
  • sharp cutting tools and instruments
  • broken or damaged equipment
  • damaged packing material or containers.

Salon policy and procedures  related to OHS may include:

  • federal, state or territory and local OHS legislation
  • basic safety procedures
  • emergency procedures
  • safe manual handling and lifting
  • dangerous goods
  • customers and staff
  • equipment and tools
  • premises
  • stock.

Safe manual handling  practices may include:

  • lifting or shifting practices
  • use of equipment such as ladders and trolleys
  • job procedures.

Designated personnel  may include:

  • safety representative
  • supervisor
  • team leader
  • manager.

Consultative processes  may include:

  • minutes from staff meetings, OHS meetings
  • identification of health and safety representatives
  • suggestions from staff for improving tasks and procedures.

Emergency procedures  may relate to:

  • sickness
  • accidents
  • fire
  • storms and cyclones
  • salon evacuation
  • armed hold-up.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Occupational Health and Safety

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