Ergonomics for nail technicians

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Ergonomics for nail technicians

Get nail pro inspo and more delivered to your inbox. Between bending over for pedicures, squinting through countless nail art applications, getting shaken up by electric files and simply sitting down for so many hours each day, nail techs are in special need of proper ergonomics to prolong their work lives—and improve their overall health and sanity.

Why should you worry about ergonomics? What do you need to know to ensure your own comfort in the workplace? Ergonomics Defined According to Kathlyn Gay in her book Ergonomics: Making Products and Places Fit People, ergonomics can be applied to many areas of human function such as computer design, chair construction and even the height of counters.

Manufacturers are designing all kinds of things with ergonomics in mind—no surprise, considering that workplace injuries and the costs associated with them seriously impact the economy and worker productivity in all sectors of American industry.

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But what is it? Of course, the economic factor is just one reason to surround yourself with items that promote your personal comfort. Your health is another major reason to monitor your working conditions and any discomfort you feel. After all, poor ergonomics and certain straining positions can affect you and your work in a number of ways. According to Wade, some early side effects of poor ergonomics include swelling, numbness, tingling, general discomfort and burning.

If allowed to continue, Wade says, advanced side effects can include muscle or nerve disorders, or damage to tendons, ligaments or cartilage. Ergonomic Solutions So what can you do to turn your station into an ergonomic paradise?

The good news is that it may be easier than you think.

ergonomics for nail technicians

No matter the problem, one piece of advice is useful across the board: Take frequent breaks and vary your job tasks. Then, equally important in receiving the full benefit of the five-minute break is to stretch several times during time spent with the client.

Stretch between working on each hand or foot, and before and afterward. I cannot emphasize how important these stretch sessions are! In addition, examine your tools and furniture.

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A backrest should fit the natural curvature of the spine and support the vertebrae that carry most of the upper body weight. And armrests should adjust for best support.Posture and position are important, whether you are sitting at the nail table or in front of your client giving a pedicure. Paying attention to how you perform these tasks can prevent many injuries e. The head, neck, and body should face forward without twisting or hunching.

ergonomics for nail technicians

The backrest should provide support for the lower back. The head should be kept upright and shoulders relaxed. Do not bend the back forward more than 30 degrees or the neck more than 45 degrees. Understanding how to lift and move correctly are important keys to preventing injury. Repetitive motion or cumulative trauma disorders can be caused by using the same motions over and over, placing strain on the body, joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue.

Problems can also result from incorrect twisting. Use a step stool or ladder. If more force is needed, it should only be done for short time periods, then rest. Use padded files and tools to decrease the need to use a hard pinch or grip. Bend elbows and shoulders rather than your wrist. Always pay attention to discomfort. Try stretching between clients, or change position between clients. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. You can find more advice from the NMC on working healthy at www.

World renown trainer Tamilee Webb of Buns of Steel has created a workout exclusively for nail professionals. Watch it on IGTV and learn how you can win a virtual subscription. Born from a salon environment and developed by a team of working nail technicians, NAF!

Stuff Pro focuses on retail goods for the salon so customers can shop local. We respect your data and privacy. Stern discusses when to wash, how to wash, and who should wash, as well as addressing the role of hand sanitizers and gloves in infection prevention. As techs close salon doors they are keeping busy by creating at-home care kits to offer clients. No one could have predicted the current crisis our industry has been thrust into.

But one of the reasons I love learning about the past is that it can help us prepare for the future. The Outgrowth Podcast interviews Leslie Roste from Barbicide and talk about hand washing, how not to use Barbicide, and some great general health info for techs and stylists who are worried about how to make sure their spaces are safe and disinfected.

Unscheduled time off is stressful — so use the time in a positive way: be ready for your clients with obvious improvements when they come back! A nail technology instructor shares what her approach would be should the nail school she works with close due to COVID For Students For Teachers and Schools.

Improving Body Ergonomics. Read more about. Share this article. Wellness NAF!The Center for Disease Control estimates that overindividuals work in nail salons across the United States. Nail technicians and salon workers are exposed to a variety of chemicals, dusts, vapors and biocides that are hazardous to their health.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, being exposed to these hazards on a daily basis can result in severe health issues down the road.

Ergonomic Basics for Nail Techs

Therefore, anyone interested in working as a nail technician, both in and out of the salon environment, needs to know about the health risks and hazards of their chosen career path. On a daily basis, nail technicians are exposed to toxic chemicals that include acetone, formaldehyde, ethyl acetate, dibutyl phthalate or dangerous combinations of these chemicals.

ergonomics for nail technicians

These chemicals often appear in common nail care products, including nail polish and remover, nail primer, fingernail glue and remover, nail hardener and artificial nail liquid. Nail technicians work long hours leaning over a table. They conduct repetitive motions that include filing and buffing. Their wrists and hands rest on hard surfaces, causing strain to muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves and tendons.

According to OSHA, nail technicians are prone to serious ergonomic hazards that lead to chronic aches and pains on and off duty. Nail technicians can be exposed to bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis, HIV and other infectious diseases.

Constant hand washing and use of harsh chemicals can lead to dry, broken or cracked skin. Since nail technicians deal with sharp tools, there is also a risk of cuts to the skin.

The harsh chemicals used in nail salons can irritate the skin easily, according to the CDC. After an inspection by health experts in Springfield Hospital found that nail care workers suffered from rashes and allergic or asthmatic reactions, it was recommended that proper ventilation masks be provided to all nail technicians. Technicians with pre-existing asthmatic conditions may have difficulty breathing or continual asthma attacks due to the dust, chemicals and vapors in the nail salon environment.

Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in Skip to main content. Muscle Strains Nail technicians work long hours leaning over a table. Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Nail technicians can be exposed to bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis, HIV and other infectious diseases. Cuts, Scrapes and Broken Skin Constant hand washing and use of harsh chemicals can lead to dry, broken or cracked skin. About the Author Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in Accessed 15 April Krow, Shailynn.

Hazards of Being a Nail Technician. Work - Chron. Note: Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.After experiencing repetitive use injuries, nail tech Lori Halloway set out to create a hand rest for clients that helps nail techs do nails in an ergonomically correct position. When the time came for salon owner Hannah Sass to design the manicure and pedicure spaces for her salon, nail tech comfort was just as much a priority as pleasing clients.

Nail tech Nicole Cox became obsessed with her ability to transform her state of being through yoga, which has benefited her personal life as well as her career. How does a nail tech cope with the physical changes when the body starts complaining about getting older?

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Dual-use setups that allow a client to receive a mani-pedi in the same chair are time-savers for clients. However, if not designed correctly, they can mean an aching back or neck for the tech. Post this list near your work station to remind yourself to practice self care. As a nail tech who sits most of the day, you might have come to see your job as a fitness foe.

NAILS looks at the research on sitting and suggests ways you can get out of the chair to stand up for your health. For Students For Teachers and Schools. Height Matters: The Benefits of a Nail Bar When the time came for salon owner Hannah Sass to design the manicure and pedicure spaces for her salon, nail tech comfort was just as much a priority as pleasing clients.

Inheritance Twenty-two years of doing nails takes a toll on the hands. Load More.Approximatelypeople are employed in nail salons and other personal care services in the United States according to industry estimates Nails Magazine, — Nail salon employees are potentially exposed to dozens of chemicals including acrylates, solvents, and biocides as dusts or vapors.

Concerns about job-related health effects associated with chemicals routinely used by nail technicians drew new attention on May 11,when Governor Andrew M.

Nail technicians perform manicures and may also perform pedicures. Downdraft vented nail tables and portable source capture systems that place local exhaust ventilation close to the work area provide the means to vent remove potential dust or chemicals away from the breathing zone.

Thus, theoretically, potential contaminants may be removed before they cross the breathing zone and are inhaled. Good general room ventilation is also important. There is some overlap in nail products and processes for manicures and pedicures. Exposures may differ, though, as pedicures involve processes such as soaking feet, filing calluses, and the use of pedicure work stations, but do not typically involve artificial nail application. Information is also provided on engineering controls, such as how to build a downdraft vented nail table that vents to the outdoors, plus references to other sources of information.


With local exhaust recirculation, contaminated air is drawn through a filter and then vented it back into the room for the NIOSH evaluation, however, air was vented into an exhaust system. The air intakes on these SCVS units could also be positioned so that contaminated air could be drawn into the unit before it crosses the breathing zone of the face. Airflow and capture characteristics of the units as well as the noise levels around them were evaluated.

A pilot respiratory health assessment of nail technicians: symptoms, lung function, and airway inflammation. Am J Ind Med. A pilot respiratory health assessment of nail technicians and a comparison group was conducted. Lung function values and symptoms were presented by group.

Among the nail technician group, relationships between respiratory measures lung function and nitric oxide and some exposure measures were seen, suggesting a need for further study.

ergonomics for nail technicians

Urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations among workers in selected industries: a pilot biomonitoring study Ann Occup Hyg. Workers from manufacturing companies and nail-only manicure salons that used phthalates or phthalate-containing materials were recruited into the study.

Manicure, pedicure and artificial nail services were provided at nail-only salons where di-n-butyl phthalate DBP was confirmed in polishes, topcoats and basecoats used by the study participants. Occupational exposure to DBP was most evident in rubber gasket, phthalate raw material and rubber hose manufacturing, with DBP metabolite concentrations exceeding general population levels byand fold, respectively, whereas DBP exposure in nail-only salons manicurists was 2-fold higher than in the general population.

A study was conducted of the prevalence, work-attributable risk, and tasks associated with asthma in a random sample of cosmeticians, manicurists, barbers, and cosmetologists holding licenses in Colorado.

Application of artificial nails, hairstyling and shaving and honing were significantly associated with asthma arising in the course of employment. A multi-station downdraft nail table was developed by NIOSH for workplaces where several clients are served at once. A schematic of the table, which vents to the outdoors, was shown and other measures to reduce exposures are described.

The table was evaluated and shown to reduce levels of ethyl methacrylate in personal breathing zones. Control of ethyl methacrylate exposures during the application of artificial fingernails Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. A commercially available recirculating downdraft nail table with charcoal filters was purchased and evaluated.

NIOSH made modifications to the table and vented the system to the outdoors. An evaluation was performed. The average ethyl methacrylate exposure in personal breathing zone samples when using the modified table for approximately 6 hours was 0. The difference in the values was statistically significant.Get nail pro inspo and more delivered to your inbox. Aching necks, incessant back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and hip pain. Which is precisely why pioneering nail pros are taking ergonomics—aka the science of arranging work places so that employees can function more easily and safely—into consideration.

Mans and several other pros have taken steps to safeguard their employees and, as a result, have also boosted operational efficiency.

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Louis, Missouri. Here, a look how implementing ergonomics is affecting techs across the country. After 33 years spent working 60 hours per week as a nail tech, Carla Collier had the back, neck, shoulder and hip issues to show for it.

One day, while doing a trade show demo for a product company, her boss asked her to perform manicures standing on a raised platform. His rationale? Plus I can easily move my head away from any steam or fumes. Ever since, Le has spent eight hours a day, six days a week, standing upright.

She also equipped her personal standing station with a lamp with a magnifying lens. A secondary benefit? An Ergo-Ready Pedi. Traditional pedi stations typically seat techs in front of the client, with their knees higher than their hips.

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She also equipped salons with pedicure thrones that are positioned higher than most, with a technician stool that can adjust from 13 to 17 inches.

Orozco explains that this allows techs to bring the foot to their eye level for a more precise polish application, sans hunching. As Dr. When performing manis, techs should keep their backs straight and supported, and raise hands so as to avoid hunching over them. November 14, Share. Load More.Forums New posts Search forums. Media New media New comments Search media.

Members Current visitors New profile posts Search profile posts. Log in Register. Search titles only. Search Advanced search…. New posts. Search forums. Log in. Forums Professionals Nail JavaScript is disabled.

Nail Technicians' Health and Workplace Exposure Control

For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Posture and good ergonomics when doing nails. Thread starter joingram87 Start date Feb 17, Hi all, I know there are several threads on here about posture and good ergonomics but I really seem to be struggling with leaning over to get a good view of my clients nails.

I am new to all this and I know it will take time to perfect but I really feel that if I don't lean over I can't get a good enough view to see what I'm doing and to ensure I work efficiently with my products and don't get product on the skin. Did it take you lovely a while to get used to it? I know to make sure my arms are at a 90degree angle on the table and to keep my feet flat on the floor but I don't feel this helps me!

Sorry geeks, I know you don't like repeat threads or moaning minis lol. Envy Well-Known Member. Great thread!


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