Health Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 20;5(4):e730. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.730. eCollection 2022 Jul.
BACKGROUND: Nail salon workers (NSW) in the United States (U.S.) are predominantly immigrant women who face a number of occupational hazards, such as biological, ergonomic, and chronic chemical exposures. Additionally, there are challenges to keeping up with the latest practices in this evolving small business industry. Licensure requirements are intended to keep not only consumers but also workers safe, however licensure requirements vary between states creating little skill, education, and occupational health and safety knowledge and practice consistency among the nail salon workforce. The current state of nail salons and licensure of workers in the State of Michigan-an overlooked state and region (Midwest) in NSW research-was determined to better characterize this workforce.
METHODS: A Freedom of Information Act request was submitted to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs regarding nail salon establishments and their workers, formally termed manicurists, and citation data for breaches. Data were provided on the number of licensed cosmetologists and cosmetology businesses from January 2017 to March 2021. From there, the total number of licensed manicurists was determined, and the cosmetology establishment list was analyzed to see if the businesses exclusively or predominantly provided nail services.
RESULTS: As of Mach 2021, there were 1372 nail salons that exclusively provided nail services and over 12,000 licensed manicurists. Over half of the disciplinary actions cited were for salons not officially licensed. Michigan has reduced licensure requirements compared to other states and no continuing education (CE) requirements for license renewals.
CONCLUSION: There is a need for industry educational and training standardization, across the nation, as well as heightened licensure requirements for these vulnerable workers. CE not only keeps workers abreast of the latest practices in the industry, but also provides them the skills and knowledge to enhance their worker health, safety, and wellbeing.