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Halton Region Public Health works with Personal Service Setting owners, operators and staff to ensure they follow safe practices that reduce the risk of transmission for blood borne infections.

What is a personal service setting?

A personal service setting (PSS) is described in the Health Protection and Promotion Act as a premises at which personal services are offered where there is a risk of exposure to blood or body fluids. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • piercing and tattooing
  • aesthetics
  • micropigmentation and microblading
  • microneedling and microdermabrasion
  • hair salons and barbers
  • electrolysis and laser hair removal

Halton Region’s public health inspectors (PHI) routinely inspect PSS in both commercial and private home settings to minimize the risk of contracting blood-borne and other types of infections during the delivery of these services.

PHIs ensure infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices are in place within PSS as mandated by:

How can I protect myself before visiting a personal service setting?

To help protect the safety and health of residents, Halton Region performs inspections of various settings. Residents can easily view or request inspection results by completing the online Health Department Inspection Results form, emailing or calling 311. Once you submit a request, a Public Health Inspector (PHI) will call you to discuss the inspection results.

In Halton Region, PHIs inspect PSS once a year. During every visit, a disclosure sign is provided and must be posted at the main entrance. 

What should I look for when visiting a personal service setting?

  • Look for a summary inspection report issued by Halton Region Public Health.
  • Work areas should be clean, organized and well lit.
  • All equipment and work surfaces should be in good condition with no cracks, dust or debris.
  • Workers are washing hands before and after providing service to clients.
  • Single-use items (such as toe separators, nail files, etc.) are disposed of after each client.

Reporting concerns to Halton Region Public Health

Information for personal service setting operators

At least 14 days before opening a new business, taking over an existing business, adding a new service or renovating your business location:

  • contact Halton Region Public Health using the online notification form or call 311 ; and
  • contact the Local Municipal office (of the City/Town where you plan to locate).

Your business must comply with O. Reg. 136/18: Personal Service Setting (external link), and follow Public Health Ontario’s Guide to Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Service Settings, 3rd edition (external PDF) to ensure that your business meets IPAC requirements.

Business licenses are issued by the municipality where your PSS is located. Please contact the relevant municipality for any business license related inquiries. Health inspection will be required for all new PSS.

  • PSS must be free of any condition that could pose a health hazard or affect the sanitary operations of the facility.
  • At least one sink must be dedicated for handwashing and one sink for cleaning reusable equipment.
  • All reusable equipment must be properly cleaned and disinfected or sterilized between uses.
  • Immediately discard any single-use equipment or instruments after they are used. Personal storage of single-use items is not permitted.
  • All disinfectants must have a drug identification number (DIN) or natural product number (NPN) assigned by Health Canada and be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Certain services are now prohibited under O. Reg. 136/18: Personal Service Settings (external link). These include:
    • ear candling or coning; and
    • any personal service involving live aquatic species, including fish pedicures.
  • It is also important to note the following services are prohibited under the Health Protection and Promotion Act:
    • scleral tattooing (tattooing of the eye); and
    • implantation of eye jewelry under the conjunctiva.
  • For more information on requirements in PSS, refer to the O. Reg. 136/18: Personal Service Settings (external link) and the Guide to Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Service Settings (external PDF).

Instruments are classified into four categories, including:

  • critical;
  • semi-critical;
  • non-critical requiring intermediate level disinfection; and
  • non-critical requiring low level disinfection.
Refer to Public Health Ontario’s Classes of Equipment and Instruments document (external PDF) for more information.

There are a wide range of products available to achieve low, medium and high-level disinfection. A popular and cost effective option is ordinary household bleach and water, using the following ratios:

Disinfection level Amount of bleach for 4 cups (1L) of water Contact time
High level ½ cup 10 minutes
Intermediate level 4 teaspoons 10 minutes
Low level ½ teaspoon 10 minutes

PSS operators are required to keep records of the following:

  • The name and personal contact information for persons seeking personal services (with the exception of hairdressing and barbering).
  • Invasive procedures, including tattooing, body piercing, microblading and microneedling.
  • Sterilization parameters (if using an autoclave).
  • A disinfection log for high-level disinfectants (including date prepared).
  • Accidental exposures to blood or body fluids.

The above records must be kept on site for one year, on file for two years and are to be made available upon request by a PHI.