Do Your Homework On Home Work

Ask The Expert

By ASCP staff

Originally published in ASCP's Skin Deep, November/December 2008.

Q: I’m considering providing some of my services in my home and in my clients’ homes, but I’m a little nervous about practicing away from my spa setup. Any tips?

A: Working in a home—yours or that of your clients—can be a safer and more comfortable situation if you know the
common hazards that come with the territory.

If you are considering working at home, start by checking with your local authorities about the legalities of doing so. Some regulations may require, and we recommend, a separate entrance in your home for your practice. Among other reasons, it creates a seamless and more professional atmosphere. If you work out of your home, it’s more likely a separate entrance will stay uncluttered and in good repair if it has a designated purpose. (For tips on creating the right ambiance, see page 22 of the Successful Business Handbook you received when you joined ASCP.)

For outcalls, make sure someone in your life knows where your appointments are and at what times. You may want to start by visiting only clients with whom you’ve built a relationship. Allow plenty of time and get good driving directions so you can arrive safely and with poise.

Some of the most common claims we experience at Associated Skin Care Professionals have to do with product spilled in clients’ homes, often damaging floors, coffee tables, and so on. We don’t recommend using candles anywhere you work because we frequently hear of hot wax spills. That could be particularly hazardous to surfaces in homes. Candles have been known to reignite when the user thought they’d been extinguished. Electrical appliances also deserve extra care. One esthetician we heard from left behind a warming blanket that was plugged in overnight. It burned the client’s rug.

Another excellent practice, especially since you may be moving your table to different places, is to check its screws and bolts monthly, if not weekly. It’s easier than you may think for screws to work their way loose and tables to collapse. A few seconds of extra care can prevent a harmful and embarrassing accident. Having a regular checklist of safety checks you perform can help your defense if a claim is ever filed against you.

The common-sense safety factors we’ve all heard—remove cords and rugs that might be tripping hazards, deice sidewalks and steps, fix loose railings—still bear repeating because these are the most common causes of preventable accidents.

For a more complete list of risk considerations for any place you work, see Ounce of Prevention from the April/May 2007 issue of Skin Deep issue at, Members section, Publications. Use your member ID and last name to log in.