Due to the nature of their work, tattoo shops and artists are subject to rules set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Blood and other bodily fluids are shed in these tattoo parlors, and these fluids can carry pathogens such as hepatatis B and C.
The primary objective of these regualtions is to prevent and reduce exposure to blood and bloodborne pathogens during tattoing.
Universal Guidelines for Tattoo Professionals
There are universal precautionary measures tattoo artists must take to protect themselves including wearing barrier gowns, disposable gloves, and goggles or eyeglasses to avoid contact and exchange of bodily fluids.
All implements that come in contact with a clients skin and blood in a tattoo shop must be of single use.
Hygiene Standards for Tattoo Artists & Shops
Hand-washing is a vital part of personal protection for both tattoo artists and their clients. Tattoo artists should wash their hands before and after touching a client, before and after donning and removal of disposable gloves, and after handling any equipment. When in doubt, wash your hands.
Disposable gloves are the most recognizable piece of PPE used by tattoo artists and shops. Gloves should be worn during every step of the tattoing process, but addiitonally should be donned whenever coming in contact with the client's skin. Latex gloves offer higher tactile sensitivity, while nitrile gloves reduce the risk of allergic reaction.
Tattoo artists wearing face masks has become more and more common lately. For a tattoo artists, disposable surgical masks help block large droplet, sprays, or splatter - protecting the artist and client. For further prtection, disposable arm sleeves protect the artist's arms from blood and pathogens. Sleeves cover any potential cuts on the artist's arms from becoming entry points for pathogens.