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Regulation Action Plan: Understanding Risk

By: Susanne Schmaling
Posted: May 30, 2014, from the June 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Part of being a skin care professional is identifying risks, and knowing how to keep your clients and your team safe. Many professionals may have learned about the importance of risk management while in school; in fact, at times it may have seemed most of the curriculum was built around using scare tactics to get students to follow safety rules. The purpose of this article is not meant to frighten you, but to empower you with information to be used for implementing procedures and gathering information to keep you safe and keep your business productive.

What would you do?

Following is a simple scenario that illustrates just how complicated the subject of safety can be.

A skin care professional is performing a modified Jessner’s peel on a client and is on the second layer when the power goes out in the building. Only half of the treatment is completed, and the Jessner’s solution is open and in a dish. There is no window or other light source in the room, but there are some candles that could be lit, and the client wishes to continue the treatment. What would you do?

If you are like many, you would light the candles and keep going. That is an example of increasing the risk in an already-risky situation, because:

  1. There is no ventilation in the room;
  2. Jessner’s solution can ignite if exposed to a flame;
  3. Without adequate light, the risk of harming the client during the treatment is heightened; and
  4. Introducing fire into the room increases the overall risk—in the worst-case scenario—of something else in the room catching fire and leading to a much worse problem.

These are just some of the risks involved in this situation. It doesn’t mean any or all of these things will happen, but it is a gamble that they won’t—a gamble with unsafe odds. There are insurance claim files filled with examples just like this one, in which one or more of those things really did occur. The skin care profession is not immune to safety issues.

What do you need to know?