Hepatitis C at work place: A survey of Occupational Health and Safety Knowledge and Practice in Beauty Therapy Industry

Shakila Asif, Farida Ahmad

Abstract


Background: Exposure to and transmission of hepatitis C raises concern for those occupations where there is possible exposure to blood and blood products, e.g. health care workers, tattooists, hair dressers and beauty therapists. This study was conducted to examine the current knowledge and practice of occupational health & safety regarding hepatitis C in beauty therapy clinics.

Material & Methods: This survey was carried out in Peshawar Cantonment and Town-III during November 2007. A questionnaire was designed to assess the knowledge, and practice of occupational health and safety regarding hepatitis C in beauty therapy clinics.

Results: Eighty percent of the procedures carried out by beauty therapists in one week were reported to have led to exposure to blood. 58.8% of respondent had no knowledge about occupational health & safety practices related to blood spills and blood to blood contact. 66% of respondent had no knowledge about occupational health & safety practices regarding hepatitis C. Knowledge of hepatitis C and its transmission was poor; 53% respondents incorrectly identified sneezing, coughing (53%), hugging (35%), kissing (71%), sharing tea cups and water glasses (76%) as modes of transmission.

Conclusion: Beauty therapy practices can expose both client and operator to blood and is therefore a potential site for transmission of blood borne diseases including hepatitis C. Occupational health & safety knowledge is inadequate and knowledge of hepatitis C especially its mode of transmission is poor.


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