Personal Service Settings

Updated: April 17, 2024

Personal Service Settings (PSS) offer services such as tattooing, body and ear piercing, haircutting/hairdressing, manicures and pedicures, waxing, facials, eyelash extensions and more.

Exposure to blood or body fluids from these procedures can lead to bloodborne infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. Peterborough Public Health inspects these facilities at least once per year, for routine, follow-up, or complaint-based inspections, to assess infection prevention and control practices, as well as cleaning, disinfecting and other safety measures. The Guide to Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Service Settings, 3rd edition, details everything you must do to be compliant with Ontario Regulation 136/18 for Personal Service Settings. Highlights of this regulation are detailed below. Please contact Peterborough Public Health if you have any questions at 705-743-1000 ext. 511.

Information for owners and operators:

Notice to Operate: The Health Unit must be notified in writing, at least 14 days before initiating services, of your intention to operate a new Personal Service Setting.

  • The notice must include the following:
    • the name and location of the intended Personal Service Setting,
    • the name and contact information of the person intending to operate the Personal Service Setting, and
    • a list of the personal services that will be provided at the Personal Service Setting.
  • If an operator wishes to provide additional personal services, the Health Unit must also be notified in writing, at least 14 days before providing additional services.
  • Personal service setting owners or operators are required to notify the Health Unit if they shut down for construction/renovation.

Please fill out this form and either e-mail it to PPH or drop it off in person (185 King Street, Peterborough, 3rd floor) AT LEAST 14 days prior to the operation of a new or renovated Personal Service Setting. A Public Health Inspector will follow up with you.

Resources at a glance: The following resources can be used at your establishment to help you be compliant with best practices and regulations.

Infection, prevention, and control

Tattoos, piercings, body modification, manicures, and pedicures

The following personal services shall not be sold, offered for sale, or provided at a Personal Service Setting:

  • Ear candling or coning
  • Any personal service involving live aquatic species, including fish pedicures
  • Scleral tattooing
  • Implantation of eye jewelry under the conjunctiva. (Health Protection and Promotion Act, Section 18.1)

Personal Service Settings must be free of any condition that could pose a health hazard or affect the sanitary operations of the Personal Service Setting. Requirements for Personal Service Settings include the following:

  • If a Personal Service Setting is located in a home, the room where personal services are being provided must not be used as part of the dwelling.
  • At least one sink must be dedicated for handwashing.
  • If reusable equipment is used, there must be an additional sink that is not the handwashing sink. (Ont. Reg. 136/18, Section 8)

Immediately discard any single-use equipment or instruments after they are used. Examples include nail files, buffing blocks, pumice stones, straight razor blades and wax sticks. Personal storage of single use items is no longer permitted. (Ont. Reg. 136/18, Section 10)

All disinfectants must have a drug identification number (DIN), or natural product number (NPN) assigned by Health Canada.

All disinfectants must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions, where available. The only exception is chlorine bleach/sodium hypochlorite. (Ont. Reg. 136/18, Section 11)

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the regulation, please contact a Public Health Inspector at Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000.

Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Service Settings requires you maintain a record of activities at your establishment. You do not have to use these forms; however, you may find these helpful if you do not have your own system in place.

Infection, Prevention and Control

Infection prevention and control precautions must be followed to protect both personal service workers and clients. You do not have to see blood or bodily fluids on the instruments for an infection to occur.

The following information is in addition to the general operating requirements for personal services settings as written in Ontario Regulation 136/18 Personal Service Settings.

There are many ways that blood-borne infections can be spread in PSS. Here are some common examples:

  • Using dirty instruments.
  • Not cleaning and disinfecting instruments and equipment properly after each client.
  • Reusing single-use items, such as acupuncture needles or blades.
  • A worker accidentally pokes themselves with a used needle or a sharp instrument.
  • Blood or body fluids come in contact with an open wound or cut. This could happen during a manicure or pedicure or when removing a blackhead or pimple.
  • A splash or spray from blood or body fluids during a nose piercing or waxing gets into a worker eyes or mouth.

An instrument may look clean, but micro-organisms that can cause infection can still be present. Proper cleaning and disinfection and/or sterilization is necessary.

You can be spreading hepatitis B or C virus without even knowing it. Protect yourself and your clients by washing your hands and practicing proper cleaning and disinfection and/or sterilization of instruments, equipment and work surfaces.

Clients that may be infected with HIV, hepatitis B or C do not have to tell you they have a blood-borne disease.

  • Protect yourself from hepatitis B – Get vaccinated.
  • Hepatitis B can survive on surfaces like metal, glass, and workstations for up to 10 days.
  • Hepatitis C can survive on surfaces for up to four days

At a glance: Manicures and Pedicures

Before the service

  • Examine client’s nail/skin for infections and discoloration.
  • Do not provide service to a client who has signs of a nail fungus or infection. Advise the client to consult with a health care professional.
  • Gather all tools, instruments and products that may be required.
  • Service workers and the client should thoroughly wash and dry their hands prior to nail treatment.

Glove use and hand hygiene

  • Wash hands before and after each client, before and after wearing gloves.
  • If gloves are required, they must be changed between clients and procedures.
  • Single-use gloves should be removed and discarded immediately after completing the procedure before touching clean surfaces.

Instrument/equipment maintenance

  • Razor blades must be pre-packaged and single use.
  • Discard razor blades immediately after use in an approved sharps container.
  • Instruments/tools that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected between clients (e.g., foam or sponge core buffer blocks and files, emery boards, hindostone, orange sticks, pumice stones, wooden cuticle pushers, sand bands, foam toe separators and slippers) must be single-use and discarded after each use.
  • After each client, multi-use instruments/tools (e.g., glass/diamond nail files, cuticle nippers, nail clippers, foot paddles, pedi/credo blade holders) must be cleaned with soap and warm water using a scrub brush then disinfected using an intermediate or high-level disinfectant for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Glass bead sterilizers are not permissible.
  • “UV light sterilizers” are not approved for sterilization or disinfection. This unit may only be used to store cleaned and disinfected instruments.

After each Client and following the manufacturer’s instructions:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
  • Drain the foot spa completely.
  • Wash the basin with warm water and detergent and use a brush to remove any visible debris. Rinse with clean water and drain.
  • Fill the foot spa above the jets with warm water. Add 3 tablespoons of 5% bleach per gallon of water. Turn on the jets and circulate for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the water and wipe dry.

At the End of Each Day

  • Remove screen, drain plug, and any other removable parts from the foot spa. Clean the screen and drain plug with detergent and a brush.
  • Soak parts in 1 teaspoon of 5% bleach for each cup of warm water for 10 minutes.
  • Put all the parts back into the unit.
  • Fill tub above the jets and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of low sudsing detergent and circulate for 5 minutes. Drain.
  • Refill tub above the jets with warm water and add 6 tablespoons of 5% bleach per gallon of water and circulate for 10 minutes.
  • Drain, rinse, and wipe dry with a clean towel.

If a foot spa without a recirculation unit is used, a single-use disposable foot spa liner can be provided for each client. However, foot spa must be cleaned and disinfected between clients and at the end of the day according to the following directions:

  • Empty the basin and discard any visible debris.
  • Clean tub with a scrub brush, warm water, and detergent.
  • Empty, rinse, and spray with low-level and intermediate disinfectant and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Drain, rinse, and wipe down with a clean towel.

If you are a client please click here.

If you are looking for a report, click here.