Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

Is your Spa and Wellness Provision an Accident Waiting to Happen?

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The Spa and Wellness industry has exploded tenfold over the last few years with more and more sites being built almost every month not only in the UK but worldwide.

There is money to be made as men, women and now children- yes children want to be pampered and feel a sense of wellbeing.  There are an abundance of beauty products coming onto the market along with a plethora of new and innovative treatments which sees everyone clambering to get the next great beauty tip, treatment and products.  There is more of a social element to spas now as well with people choosing to spend a day out with friends drinking champagne, having lovely lunches and enjoying themselves. A spa is no longer a treat or luxury, its becoming a way of life for many…

We have recently seen an increase in private and local authority prosecutions. This could be for a number of reasons, e.g. reporting incidences by the clients to the Local Authorities has got better or clients have better knowledge of their rights. On investigation the spa/beauty salon had been lacking on the basic health and safety/licensing requirements, they were caught unaware as they thought they had it covered. 

Health and safety requirements in spas is nothing new, nor has it changed so what is really going on behind the scenes and why are we seeing more enforcement actions and prosecutions? Have a think about what your business model looks like? Does it include health and safety in any way shape or form?  If it does, is it an integral part of your business model or is it an add on to simply “tick the box”.

Take a few minutes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I committed to health and safety?
  • Are my clients AND therapist at the centre of my business model?
  • Is my safety culture right for my business?
  • Am I confident that I am operating to the required safety compliance standards?
  • Are any of the treatments that I offer require a licence from the Local Authority? Or are they


  • Is the health, safety and welfare of my therapists at the top of my agenda?
  • What about well being?
  • Are my staff sickness levels high and is this related to the work they do?
  • Are suitable arrangements in place to ensure the safety of clients?
  • Have policies moved in line with the treatments being offered?

There are many new management concepts coming onto the market such as digital booking systems   BUT hold on… do these systems take into account the therapists? Are their clients and treatments rotated adequately to ensure they have adequate breaks and a good variety of treatments?

We have been made aware of cases where therapists are booked to do back to back massages with very little break in between leading to short and long term medical conditions such as  upper limb disorders, repetitive strain and back injury.  This in turn can lead to a reduced workforce - putting more pressure on the other therapists – a stressful environment – and possibly an unrelaxed client after their treatment which does nothing for the health and wellbeing concept that your business is aiming to provide.

It isn’t just about making a profit and fingers crossed everything else will be ok.  You are providing a valuable much needed service but you must also have your finger on the pulse with regards to health and safety be it in-house or externally.

The public are much more clued up on their rights and can be very unforgiving.  Whilst a beautiful scenic spa, with the latest products, equipment and treatments can grab their attention for a moment in time, bad experiences will stay with them forever especially if it results in a life changing injury.

This article was produced by Hygenisys Environmental Health Consultancy – specialist in Spa and Leisure Health and Safety compliance management systems.  To request a complimentary review of your current systems please email



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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

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