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|760-1409, Personnel, Health, and Disease Control, Suffolk County, New York|
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Please reply to LUCKISAGOODTHING@yahoo.com
These are personal views
and opinions of Wes Wood and do not necessarily represent the views and
opinions of Unimax Supply Co Inc.
760-1409, Personnel, Health, and Disease Control, Update Nov 23, 2006
Section 1 needs study to determine the practicality,
legality and accuracy of this requirement. Having “any”
communicable disease is not a likely justification to
prohibit body art activities. In hospitals, the actual
disease and the workers likelihood of transmitting that
disease are considered on an individual case by case
basis. The issue of communicability and scenarios is not
addressed by supplying a list of items that can become
contaminated by a worker. Basing the prohibition on a
list is not sufficient reasoning to prohibit workers
their livelihood. If this were legal and appropriate,
it would be clearer to require that no person with a
contagious disease engage in activities that would pose
a likelihood of causing the transmission of disease to
Section 2 can be used to illustrate a weakness throughout the Article: specifically, the intent should be to write standards that can be applied to situations. Instead, it is written as a shopping list of allowable and prohibited actions without establishing the standards or the responsibilities needed to help body artists determine the proper responses to daily challenges.
2. The following requirements shall be applicable to all employees engaged in the practice of Body Art Procedures:
a. During all body art procedures,
long sleeves are prohibited. For unspecified reasons tank tops and sleeveless shirts are prohibited. Because long sleeves can become contaminated in some tattooing by leaning on the client or dragging the long sleeve across a tattoo we can understand the thinking but it is not an accurate assessment of the extent of the problem nor the proper solution. Personal Protective Equipment is the last step of defense against blood exposure to prevent contamination of the worker. When the tattooist is leaning on a tattoo the arm and any clothes must be protected with PPE. This prohibition exposes the arm to contamination. This is a serious. More than half of all tattoos do not have a likelihood of blood exposure to the artist's arm, and no piercing procedures exposes the piercer to exposure. The issue has nothing to do with sleeve length. The principle is that when any body part or a worker's clothes are likely to become exposed to blood they must be protected.
b. The body artists shall perform proper hand washing in an acceptable hand washing facility before starting work and as often thereafter as may be necessary.
The next section deals with gloves.
c. Both of the Body Artist's Hands shall be covered with disposable, Single Use, examination gloves approved by the Department when a body art procedure is performed. These gloves must be changed if they rip or tear, touch any other person, or touch any object or thing that might be a source of contamination during a body art procedure, and for each new customer.
You can see the "add-ons" as they occur to the authors.
-2) It would have been sufficient to write "Single Use
examination gloves shall be worn when contamination is
likely." or "Personal protective equipment (for example,
gloves) shall be used when exposure to blood or body
fluids is anticipated."
The paragraph continues with a list of the conditions that explain when gloves should be changed.
These gloves must be changed if they rip or tear, touch any other person, or touch any object or thing that might be a source of contamination during a body art procedure, and for each new customer.
First, anything “might” be a source of contamination, so
that is not helpful.
2) Rip and tear mean the same but holes are forgotten.
It should be something like "maintain the protective
performance of the glove."
There's more in every sentence.
The condition as written confuses the issue. a) Might
means also might not. How to judge might is a problem?
b) What about things we think might not be contaminated
but are? Should they be included? c) "During" a body
art procedure leads to the question: not before or
after? and d) what about contamination from touching the
client-person, where does that fit in? e) For each "new"
customer. (not old customers?). The clarifications
create new exceptions which cause more clarifications to
be written and results in leaving things out that should
be included. The attempt to be exhaustively inclusive is
self-defeating. This is everywhere and not isolated.
c. The body artist shall keep fingernails clean and
The problem here is the tortured stream of thinking. What does "shall not wear" anything "deemed" to interfere with "grooming practices." Grooming practices? How do cosmetics "subsequently interfere with effective hand washing"? Is hand washing a grooming practice or "performance" of any body art? Do cosmetics (usually confined to the face) interfere "with prescribed personal hygiene and grooming practices put forth by the department" What practices? Where are these “prescribed grooming practices” to be found?
Yes, jewelry and long nails can produce challenges to gloves that we would like to avoid by keeping nails short and limiting the amount and types of jewelry worn. But this is not surgery. Tattoo and piercing do not create the same dangers as creating open exposed wounds. This is piercing and tattooing not surgical procedures. The rigors of surgery are not \appropriately applied to tattooing and piercing. This is a characteristic error of the Article: it includes ancillary good ideas (that would not be discouraged), such as fingernail brushes and files at every hand washing facility for every artist, as if they are crucial and thus must be compulsory.
Here's another example
760-1409 2:e (this entire section can easily be replaced with a simple sentence)
e) "The use of tobacco in any form or any other
substance (as if non-tobacco smoking items are not
prohibited – so the writer adds more) used in the
form of a cigarette or pipe for smoking purposes (The
felt need is to spell out that a cigarette or pipe is
used for smoking. Then it says) "The use of tobacco
will be prohibited...in conformance with New York State
Public Health Law."
Instead of saying "Body Art Shops are not exempt from
the NYS Clean Air Act" and leaving it at that we get a
barrage of obsessive-compulsive writing. Even this
statement is not necessary because the law already
exists and is known.
The next paragraph:
"f. The consumption of food and drink by employees shall be restricted to designated areas acceptable to the commissioner. There shall be no consumption of food or drink in the workstation areas of the body art establishment."
This prohibition is copied from Food Preparation regulations and reasonable in that situation. It is obvious that eating a sandwich when packaging food or making pizza is not a good idea. OSHA's position is that food and drink must be stored and used in areas where cross-contamination is unlikely, primarily addressing laboratories that have beakers and dishes of contaminated items on benches and places that have refrigerators for medical purposes. Here, the Department usurps the role of the employer and micro-manage. Not only is eating prohibited in the work area but a special designated area within the approved area must get approval. You would not be allowed to drink a soda at the counter.
Understanding the issues, the reasons could be written
something like: "food and drink shall only be stored and
consumed in areas where and in a manner that
contamination is unlikely." – that takes care of
There is an issue here that needs consideration.
In defense of the prohibition it was said "Don't you know food can cause infection?" This was a sad statement.