Salon Safety: Community-Engaged Approaches to Workplace Safety Interventions
In California, the salon industry represents a significant small-business sector. Working in
these salons are cosmetologists who are exposed to a wide array of occupational hazards at
work. Toxic chemicals, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological demands in the workplace are just a few of the hazards experienced by beauty care workers. The beauty products marketed to and used by Black women have been found to contain potentially harmful ingredients.
Black hair-salon workers face serious health hazards from these products they use
on clients and other health hazards at their work. Knowledge on this issue, as it relates to
Black hair care professionals and potential intervention methods, is extremely limited. This dissertation includes three studies that sought to understand the occupational health status
of Black salon workers in the Los Angeles region, identify workplace intervention strategies
tailored to small businesses and pilot a community-engaged intervention program aimed at
reducing workplace injuries and illnesses in the salon.
Based on the first study, a lack of proper health and safety training and personal protective
equipment use within the salon worker community was found. Additionally, it was
found that there was a willingness by stylists to learn more about workplace hazards and
how to mitigate their risks. The conclusion of this study demonstrated a need for additional
community-based studies with Black salon workers on workplace health intervention methods.
In the second study, it was found that the process of developing and facilitating an intervention program for small businesses required an understanding of the community being
served, developing a relationship with the community, building partnerships, and addressing
barriers to information. From this second study the use of community partnerships and
intermediates in the promotion of safety and environmental practices was highlighted as
instrumental for success.
In the third study, it was found that a community-engaged approach in the development
of a personal protective equipment use intervention program led to favorable results including
an increase of salon safety knowledge and personal protective equipment use among Black
Taken together, these research studies provide clear insights into comprehensive approaches
for targeted occupational safety intervention programs aimed at underserved worker