Tattoo and piercing business registration and inspection

Risk assessment

Why is a risk assessment required?

A risk assessment of your proposed activity/activities is required to:

  • demonstrate compliance with the regulations, and
  • explain and justify the way in which you intend to perform your activity/activities, having regard to the need to secure the cleanliness of the operations and the operator, so as to prevent against the spread of any potential disease or ill health which could be caused as a result of these activities.

What should the risk assessment comprise of?

Risk assessment involves identifying all the hazards associated with the premises and activity to be performed, assessing the associated risks, and then deciding on and implementing control measures to either eliminate, or where this is not reasonably practicable reduce to a safe level, all those hazards that pose a significant risk.

Examples of hazards associated with special treatments

 A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm. Listed below are a number of hazards which may be associated with special treatments:

  • sharps
  • equipment
  • blood pigments/paints
  • waste material
  • chemicals
  • the practitioner
  • the client

The risk of the spread of infection/ill health

The risk associated with a hazard is the likelihood that harm from the hazard will be realised i.e. occur under the given circumstances. With regard to special treatments, we are concerned with the risk of the spread of infection or ill health which may be caused by all of the above hazards if there are insufficient or inappropriate controls in place. Other health and safety risks may also be posed by these hazards which will need to be controlled in order to comply with health and safety legislation. This will be enforced by either us or the Health and Safety Executive.

Arrangements to either eliminate or reduce the risks to acceptable levels

Having identified that the risk of the spread of infection and ill health are associated with the proposed activities you must now ask yourself as to whether or not you have adequate controls in place to prevent or minimise these risks. In order to do this you will need to consider whether there are any specific legal requirements which you must have regard to e.g. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994, The Tattooing of Minors Act, the types of controls being adopted by other persons or organisations performing the same activities and also the nature and types of controls which are available to you.

If on looking at your existing controls it is apparent that an unsatisfactory risk still exists or you are failing to meet the required legal or industry wide standard you will need to improve your controls accordingly.

Documenting your assesment

The table below is an example of the way in which you may wish to document your assessment.





Contaminated sharps causing spread of blood borne infection to: client /self/ employee/contractor.

Contractor use of special sharps container for used needles.


Storage of sharps in secure location prior to use.


Treatment only performed by trained and competent person registered with Local Authority.


Policy of refusing treatment to clients demonstrating unsuitable behaviour.


Contraindications checked with all clients.

Having carried out your assessment you will need to ensure that you have arrangements in place to implement and maintain your control measures. You will also need to review and revise your assessment should circumstances change e.g. if you purchase any new equipment etc, or if you have reason to believe that it is no longer valid for any reason.

A copy of your assessment will need to be available to view by the inspecting officer on the date of inspection. The controls which you have identified will be verified when you are inspected.