Tattoo dangers

ON the back of several complaints about unlicensed tattooists in the Southern Downs, the council has urged community members to be fully aware of the potential dangers of tattooing procedures.

Director of Planning and Environment Ken Harris warned of the potential of serious infection that could occur during tattooing.

“Anyone considering using these services must understand the precautions that tattooists are required to take to prevent bacterial, fungal and viral infections like HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C,” Mr Harris said.

“A professional tattooist is required to have a Personal Appearance Service Licence with the Southern Downs Regional Council and a certificate to certify that they have completed a competency standard endorsed by a National Training Authority in HLTIN2A – Maintain Infection Control Standards in Office Practice Settings.”

Mr Harris stressed that all employees providing higher risk services also needed to ensure they achieved this competency standard.

“As a tattooist's client, you should always ask for proof of these qualifications before getting a tattoo and if they don't have a licence with council, don't get the tattoo as you risk disease and mistreatment,” Mr Harris said.

If council proves a breach of the legislation for an unlicensed tattooist, the operator is liable for on-the-spot fines and further council action.

When conducting inspections of licensed operators, environmental health officers ensure the operator complies with a range of requirements including the use of sterile equipment and surroundings, changing needle assemblies and hand-pieces after each client use, and personal hygiene standards.“To avoid infection, a client should receive written information on cleaning the tattoo site and preventing infection, together with advice on healing times,” Mr Harris said.

Inquiries to council's environmental health officers on 46610300 (Warwick) or 46815500 (Stanthorpe).

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