Health & Safety

Tattooing Guidelines

Under the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, employers must make sure their tattooists have received suitable and sufficient training to carry out their work safely.

It is recommended that all new tattooists should have at least one year of supervised training as an apprentice to become a competent tattooist.

Tattooing of minors

The tattooing of any person under the age of 18 is an offence under the Tattooing of Minors (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 and could lead to the prosecution of the tattooist.

Tattooists should record the details of all customers to make sure they comply with the law.

Client health

At Skinworks we always carry out a face to face consultation prior to the tattoo appointment.

The consultation should include questions to check if the client is suffering from any of the following medical conditions:

  • Heart Conditions
  • Hepatitis/HIV
  • Diabetes
  • Haemophilia
  • Seizures e.g. epilepsy
  • High blood pressure
  • Any skin conditions e.g. psoriasis
  • Allergies to adhesive plasters, creams, etc
  • Allergies to latex

These conditions may not stop you being tattooed but it is important for the tattooist to know.

*We will not tattoo or pierce anyone who is pregnant/nursing a child.  Or anyone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs due to health and safety issues.*

Consent of client and record-keeping

Belfast City Skinworks will collect the following information from each customer on the day of the appointment.

  • Full Name and Address
  • Age
  • Medical information
  • Proof of age (photographic identification, for example, a driving licence or passport)
  • Date of Tattoo and type of Tattoo.
  • Customers signature

Consent forms will be kept for 3 years.

Pre-treatment warnings

Your tattooist will make you aware of any associated risks of receiving a tattoo.

Hygiene of premises and treatment areas

All table tops, shelves and other work surfaces at Belfast City Skinworks are designed so that they are smooth, solid and can be effectively cleaned between clients. This also applies to all couches and seats.

All tables and couches will be covered with a disposable paper sheet which should be changed for each client.

Hand washing stations with a supply of hot and cold running water are provided in all treatment areas for tattooists and piercers to wash their hands prior to, and between procedures.

Alcohol hand sanitizer is also available in all of the artists stations.

Hygiene of equipment

At Belfast City Skinworks we only use single use disposable needles for body piercings.  All instruments are put through a sterilisation process after every use and individually bagged ready for the next customer.  For tattoos we either use single use tattoo cartridges or again put tubes through a sterilisation process.


Aftercare advice

After every procedure we will provide customers with both verbal and written aftercare that goes into detail regarding how to care for your tattoo or piercing and what to expect during the healing process.

Waste disposal

Waste from tattooing is clinical waste and must be treated as such.  Our waste is collected weekly by a registered carrier and disposed of safely.  Every artist is provided with their own clinical waste bin and also a sharps bin for needles, razors etc


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