Beauty therapists have 11th most dangerous job in UK

New research has found that beauty therapists have one of the most dangerous professions in the UK.

Workplace dust and fume extraction systems Extraction Solutions has compiled the top reported cases of workplace illness in the UK, revealing that beauty therapists have one of the highest risks of sickness and injury in their profession versus the UK average.

In fact, the data shows that beauty therapists place higher than chemical scientists, welding trades and metal workers, with ill health being 450% the average occupational incidence rate*. 

The most dangerous occupations in the UK

  1. Bakers and flour confectioners
  2. Vehicle paint technicians
  3. Plant and machine operatives
  4. Cooks
  5. Chemical and related process operatives
  6. Hairdressers and barbers
  7. Metal making and treating process operatives
  8. Food, drink and tobacco process operatives
  9. Metal machining setters and setter operatives
  10. Assemblers (electrical and electronic products)
  11. Beauty therapists and related occupations

Among the lowest risk occupations are shopkeepers, office and hotel managers, and chemical scientists. The full list of occupations is available here.

What conditions are beauty therapists most at risk of?

Beauty therapists are largely affected by dermatitis, which is cause for 82% of incidents above the UK average. A main cause of skin irritation for beauty therapists is the chemicals used in artificial nails. 

However, asthma rates in the profession are low, which could be a result of the HSE recommendations for extraction hoods to remove acrylic fumes and dust filings.

Why are beauty therapists more at risk than chemical scientists?

Traditonally, before PPE became mandatory for appointments due to the Coronavirus, beauty therapists may have been more exposed to irritants within the salon environment.

In comparison, chemical scientists require a high level of personal protective equipment, accompanied by industry-specific fume and chemical extractors to avoid any serious injury or contamination.  


All of the statistics collected are from the HSE index of ill health.

The Dermatitis and Asthma Relative Incidence Rate Ratio was calculated by dividing the rate per 100,000 by the average for each incidence. The dermatitis average is 2.82 and the asthma average is 0.49.

Dermatitis rates were calculated using the THOR - Voluntary reporting of occupational diseases by specialist doctors THORSO4 report. The data used was the most recent average annual rate - the Average annual rates per 100,000 over 2016-2018p.

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