For hairdresser, activities such as washing or cutting hair carry with them significant risks of dermatitis and other skin conditions. Professionals in this field also contend with other health issues such as back pain, arthritis, and asthma. Over the past decade, the social partners in the European hairdressing sector have come together in a coalition dedicated to promoting the health and safety of the one million hairdressers across Europe.
In 2018, social partners, including UNI Europa, the ETUC and Coiffure.EU, identified a lack of gloves on the market that could offer maximum protection for hairdressers. Recognising the need for accepted standards to ensure the effectiveness of protective gloves and other personal protective equipment, employees’ and employers’ representatives initiated a standardisation process, which the ETUC played a crucial role in coordinating.
After undergoing rigorous laboratory trials, the proposed test methods for the standard were found to be reliable. As a result, an international ISO standard is expected to be published in the first half of 2024. Subsequently, it will be submitted to the European Commission. If the Commission deems it conform with the Personal Protection Equipment Regulation, all hairdressers’ gloves in Europe will have to comply with this new standard. This would be a significant step forward in ensuring reliable and effective protection for all workers in the sector.