Planning on opening a Beauty Business in Northern Territory? Do You Have Sufficient Hand Wash Facilities?
What do I need to know?
In Northern Territory (NT), before opening or expanding your business (if it is a fixed address), or applying for a permit to trade in a new location (if you are mobile/temporary), approval is required from the relevant local government authority (your local council) where your business intends to operate.
Details such as the business name and address, layout of the premises/operational area, and the utilised materials/structure may be required - including the locations of hand basins and utensil wash sinks. Your Environmental Health Officer will then either issue you with a permit and/or inspect your establishment/ operations to assess compliance with Victorian regulations.
Why do I need a hand basin?
Hand washing is the leading defence in preventing the spread of infection and is an essential requirement in any cosmetic services setting. Even if the procedures you do rarely require hand washing, the simple fact is that having hand washing facilities readily available and easily accessible increases hand washing rates and thus decreases the spread of infection. This is especially important when undertaking beauty treatments which can involve interaction with bodily waste and fluids.
This is why beauty regulations require a hand washing facility within the area of practice – not next door or down the hallway. By having the facility available and accessible it ensures hand washing can be achieved if/when required and the health and safety of your customers is upheld.
Operators within Northern Territory are required to follow the the NT Department of Health Public and Environmental Health Guidelines for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Body Art 2014 publicly available HERE. They state on page 24: "All hairdressing, beauty therapy and body art premises must be equipped with a hand wash basin dispensing hot and cold water from a single outlet. Soap and disposable paper towels must be made available adjacent to the hand basin. Handwashing facilities must be positioned in a central location so as to be easily accessible by all staff and to the satisfaction of an authorised officer. In addition, a hand wash basin provided with an adequate supply of hot and cold water controlled by foot-operated or elbow operated taps through a single outlet, soap and paper towels must be provided in each room of operation where skin penetration occurs and to the satisfaction of an authorised officer".
In order to be approved for operation, your business must comply with the above outlined requirements. For further information on the requirements, provisions or information on how to setup your business we recommended contacting your local council directly. You can find your local council HERE.
How do I install a hand basin?
A hard plumbed hand wash basin is the obvious choice in most situations. However, mains plumbing is not always available, can sometimes be too expensive or is simply not practical. This is especially the case if you are leasing, a home business, mobile, in a kiosk or heritage building etc. Access to mains plumbing should not be an impediment to opening or expanding your business. Our Medi-Sink is the number one alternative to fixed plumbing for the Health and Cosmetic Services Industries and is popular in such diverse settings as GP practices to Veterinarians to Eye Brow Threading.
As a hand washing appliance the Medi-Sink provides ready access to your practical and regulatory requirement for hand washing facilities. It requires no plumbing – holding 10 litres of fresh water and 10 litres of waste. The unit delivers a timed, sensor operated, temperature regulated (40/45 degree) hand washing rinse; and also has a cold water, continuous flow button. It has a 10 minute self-cleaning mechanism which we recommend running once a week for disinfection in cosmetic services settings.
The Medi-Sink requires no installation. If you ordered one, we ship it to your door, you just have to take it out of the box, place it where you want it, fill the tank with normal tap water and plug the unit into power – its that easy. For more info on our Medi-Sink hand washing station see here.
Do I need a utensil washing sink?
If you are working with utensils that require cleaning then you are generally required to have a separate sink for utensil processing and sterilisation. Information on the required Utensil and Dish washing facilities under the NT Department of Health Public and Environmental Health Guidelines for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Body Art 2014 are publicly available HERE.
It specifies on page 21: "Cleaning Prior to Sterilisation. Reusable skin penetrating equipment should be cleaned in the following manner:
1) RINSE the equipment in cold water to remove any blood or serum. (Hot water at this stage will cause coagulation and adherence of matter to the instrument and prevent complete sterilisation).
2) WASH the equipment using hot water and soap or detergent. (Using hot water with detergent at this stage will help remove any grease and oils).
3) RINSE the equipment thoroughly in hot water (greater than 70C) and allow to dry.
4) STERILISE the equipment using an autoclave or other approved steriliser in accordance with the times and temperatures indicated in the next section on Autoclave. For the operator's safety when cleaning items, disposable (and durable) gloves and protective clothing should be worn. "
Also specified on page 24: "7.2 Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sterilising Area. All hairdressing, beauty therapy and body art premises should be equipped with a cleaning area located separately from the procedure or treatment area. Equipment and reusable instruments should be moved to the cleaning area immediately after a procedure is completed to be cleaned and disinfected or sterilised. A cleaning sink, deep enough to allow equipment to be scrubbed under water, is required to be located within the cleaning area. Items used to prepare and serve food should not be washed in this sink. If towels and linen are to be washed on site laundry facilities should also be provided within this area. Sufficient bench space to allow for good working practices and to prevent re-contamination of clean and/or sterile items should be provided."
Most of our customers already have access to a separate sink they can use for utensil washing (such as a laundry sink at home, or rear sink in a shop), typically they just don't have the hand washing sink in their area of practice. Other practitioners use entirely disposable utensils and thus aren't required to have a utensil wash sink. If however you do need a utensil wash sink (for example if you are operating in a Kiosk), we do have a solution. Our Smart Sink is particularly popular with Kiosk's and Leased Buildings/Offices as an all rounder unit to cover utensil wash and hand wash requirements. For more info on our Smart Sink utensil wash sink see here.
Who are we?
Transplumb Water Technologies are designers, makers and innovators of high-tech plumbing solutions to industries all over Australia and internationally. We specialise in designing both portable and permanent, self-contained hand wash and utensil washing stations that require no access to mains plumbing connections. The information provided above is intended as a guide to help you understand the process in setting up or expanding your Beauty business and has been formulated in response to customer requests.