prior experience as an inspector with a state agency, a background in law enforcement, or coursework in criminal justice. Additionally, the civil service application and exam process can be daunting even for a native English speaker.
Cal/OSHA, BBC, and other agencies should:
Increase the number of translated materials and post them on websites as well as distribute them to district offices.
Develop a recruiting program, including specific goals and timelines, to increase the number of bilingual staff, especially Vietnamese.
Develop and disseminate user-friendly manuals for nail-salon owners and workers in languages other than English such as Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog on workplace health and safety including information on employers’ obligations under Cal/OSHA and BBC regulations.
Require the BBC to request information on ethnicity and primary language on licensure and renewal forms for manicurists, cosmetologists, and establishment owners.*
Revise the application process and job requirements (including criminal justice or law enforcement backgrounds) for Inspector positions with the BBC and Cal/OSHA.
✓ Make information about chemical hazards in nail products more comprehensible.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard35 requires chemical and product manufacturers to provide MSDSs to purchasers of products containing hazardous chemicals, but many manufacturers fail to do so. Employers are required under the Standard to make MSDSs available to workers at the worksite, and to train workers on the health effects of exposures to chemicals and protecting themselves from those exposures.
The California Hazardous Substances Information and Training Act requires that MSDSs provide “a description in lay terms” of the specific potential short- and long-term health effects posed by hazardous substances in products.36 However, MSDSs generally have language that is too highly technical for many workers and employers to understand, and formats that are inconsistent from one manufacturer to the next. Some MSDS formats such as that of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and, when completed, the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) are more understandable to lay people than others.
Even though Vietnamese and other languages represent a huge percentage of the languages spoken by the nail salon workforce, manufacturers are not required to (and generally do not) translate MSDSs of nail salon products into other languages.
An analysis of ethnicities of salon workers and owners will improve research on the health effects of chemical and other
environmental exposures in the workplace and can inform policy decisions. For instance, many Asians lack certain enzymes that break down toluene which then cannot be eliminated rapidly from the body. As a result, the chemical may persist longer and at higher levels in the bodies of Asian individuals.
California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative