First health

The local barbers’ association held an information session at Urban Cuts Barbershop in Strandfontein on Wednesday last week.

The session was the first of what will be several information sharing opportunities following a study depicting the prevalence of blood-borne viruses and the adoption of new legislation.

Warren Theunis, chairperson of the Western Province Barbers’ Association was joined by representatives of the local Bargaining Council, the local health inspector and the Employers’ Organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Beauty (EOHCB).

Barbering falls under hairdressing and within the scope of the National Bargaining Council for Hairdressing, Cosmetology, Beauty and Skincare.

According to the collective agreement negotiated between the parties to the council, the employers’ organisation (EOHCB) and trade union (UASA), in the registration of an establishment, all employers and legal owners shall be obliged to ensure that an establishment has been registered with the council, and where the legal owner is not a working employer, employs at least one hairdresser/hairstylist qualified or third year BTech stomatologist, or manicurist/pedicurist/wax technician or nail technologist, depending on the type of cosmetology services rendered.

No employer or legal owner shall be entitled to operate an establishment unless it has complied with these provisions and submitting the completed documents to the council. This was published in the Government Gazette dated 20 October 2017.

Although the legislation stands, Theunis says it is not too late for barbers to voice their concerns. “This affects all of us and we must have a say. It is not too late because the agreement is negotiated every year. This is legislation and we must follow it,” said Theunis to the group of barbers in attendence.

A total of 15 barbers are needed to host the session. Theunis tells People’s Post that they are in the process of finalising venues for the Northern Suburbs, the CBD and the rest of the province.

“We will be hosting a series of info-sharing workshops across the Western Cape. These workshops will be co-hosted by the parties mentioned above and will also serve as registration points for the respective industries,” says Theunis.

Research was conducted in Cape Town by professors and industry professionals at the University of Cape Town (UCT) (“Spotlight on barber safety”, People’s Post, 2 August).

With this in mind, several tips on cleaning practices were discussed.

Further, Theunis also shared a draft of their own health and safety policy.

While unregistered barbershops were also a point of discussion from the floor, Theunis and officials assured the barbers that work was being done across departments, however encouraged the barbers to become compliant with the law.

Further, the barbers were also handed a copy of the agreement. Negotiations on the agreement will start next month.

Future dates for the information sharing sessions will be communicated.