Following years of unsuccessful attempts to set specific recommendations to improve occupational safety and health in the hairdressing sector, the social partners UNI Europa Hair & Coiffure EU have now finally managed to sign a joint framework agreement on protecting occupational safety and health. The framework agreement contains specific recommendations for implementing individual measures which protect the health of hairdressers, as well as regulations regarding workplace safety and the prevention of accidents.
These renewed efforts are a result of the fact that people working in the hairdressing sector have an above-average risk of suffering certain diseases as a direct result of their work. Hairdressers suffer from a variety of skin diseases (10 times more than the average worker), which may be a result of frequent contact with various haircare products. They are also more likely to report musculoskeletal complaints such as arthritis and tendonitis. Furthermore, one in five hairdressers suffers from asthma, which can also be attributed to their profession. Therefore, the social partners were concerned with limiting potential health risks to hairdressers and improving occupational safety and health in general. The recommendations will benefit the approximately one million hairdressers that work in Europe.
However, the agreement between the social partners is not legally binding. Nevertheless, the signing of the agreement is a call on the European institutions to convert these regulations into legal provisions. Before this can happen, the European Commission must first assess the agreement. It may then submit to the Council, pursuant to Article 155 TFEU, a relevant proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the framework agreement concluded by the social partners.
The framework agreement can be downloaded at: