Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council utilising funding made
available via the HSE:LA Partnership Programme
Authority Circulars (LACs) that offer written advice on body
piercing, permanent tattooing and micropigmentation have been
available for several years via the HSE Web site. Although these
are open documents, they are primarily designed for use by
enforcement officers and can be too technical and detailed for
other audiences, such as the special treatment operators (i.e. duty
holders) themselves. Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC)
recently identified a need for more straightforward written advice,
specifically for the duty holders in their own council area. Such
guidance would provide essential information for businesses, to
assist them in setting up new premises or in maintaining existing
businesses to a high standard.
What We Did
It was acknowledged that separate advice documents would be
required for the different special treatment topic areas. In
particular, micropigmentation practitioners and tattooists see
their sectors as quite distinct. With this in mind, HSL developed
the new material with the objective of providing a visually
interesting and accessible format that was not overly
Although much of the advice content was sourced from existing
LAC guidance, which had already been through prior consultation,
HSL performed additional consultation for the new documents to
ensure that the revised content remained accurate and up to date.
The consultation process involved discussions with LA enforcement
officers, The Tattooing and Piercing Industry Union, medical staff,
the Health Protection Agency, HABIA (a government appointed
standards setting body) and the Department of Health. Once
finalised, the advice documents (which cover body piercing,
tattooing and micropigmentation) were presented to Calderdale MBC.
Since finalisation of the material it has been realised that it
would be equally useful to a wider audience, including business
operators, members of the public and enforcement officers. It has
therefore agreed that all Local Authorities should be available to
download the material from HELex (extranet off HSE's website for
Health and Safety enforcing authorities and their officers.
The advice booklets were made available as three separate
documents, to cover the three main treatments described above.
These documents include information on requirements for safe, clean
premises, legal issues, waste disposal, infection control,
aftercare advice and an at a glance checklist. Appendices within
each document also present examples of how a medical history
questionnaire, consent form and aftercare advice sheet might be
prepared for each of the three treatment areas - these can be used
as templates and copied if necessary. The electronic versions of
the documents are now available on the
Calderdale MBC web site.
Enforcement officer and operator feedback on the advice booklets
has been extremely positive, and interest in the documents remains
high. A limited run of A5 booklets has quickly been exhausted and
HSL is responding to requests for additional copies. These will be
circulated widely and will act as a useful reference for businesses
as they plan and carry out their treatments.
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