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Using a sunbed can increase the risk of getting skin cancer. If you’re a sunbed operator in Northern Ireland, you must not allow young people under 18 to use, hire or buy a sunbed. In your shop or premises, you must display information about the health risks of using a sunbed.
If you have a sunbed business, you must not:
You must do a risk assessment of your premises and the sunbed business activities.
We are responsible for checking that sunbed operators in Belfast follow the law. We do this by test-buying in sunbed businesses in Belfast.
For example, we can send a young person under 18 years old to try to buy a sunbed session.
We can also send someone over 18 years old to check a sunbed business:
If you don’t follow the law on sunbeds, we can give you a fixed penalty notice. This is a fine. The fine is £250 for each offence. The fine is £50 for displaying information saying there are health benefits to using a sunbed.
If you don’t pay the fixed penalty, we can take you to court. If you’re convicted in court, you could be fined up to £5,000.
When you sell sunbed sessions, you should keep written records for every person who uses a sunbed. Before you allow a customer to buy a sunbed session, you should:
Every time anyone has a sunbed session, you should write down:
You should also keep records if you refuse to sell someone a sunbed session.
If you or your staff refuse to sell someone a sunbed session, you should write down:
To assess skin types of people wanting to buy sunbed sessions, you and your staff should use the Fitzpatrick Scale. You’ll need training to use this method.
To understand the law and a sunbed operator’s responsibilities, you and your staff should complete regular training. You should keep a written record of training completed and what was covered. It’s important that staff confirms in writing each time they’ve completed training.
If you have a sunbed business, you are responsible for regularly maintaining the sunbeds and electrical systems.
After every customer’s use, you must clean and sanitise goggles or other protective eyewear. You should also clean sunbed equipment and surfaces immediately after a customer’s session finishes. Every sunbed should have an accessible emergency stop button. You should check regularly that the buttons are working. To allow emergency exit, sunbed rooms should be accessible from outside.
When doing the risk assessment of your premises and sunbed activities, you must identify:
You must record in writing the main findings of the risk assessment if you employ five or more people. But it’s also good practice to keep a written record of the risk assessment if you employ less than five people.
To read a sample risk assessment for a sunbed business, contact our Health and Safety department:
You can also download the Health and Safety Executive’s risk assessment template (link opens in new window)
To read more information on sunbeds, go to:
This information is published in English and Polish.