BSI launches the first tattooing standard

Working with the international tattoo and health protection community, BSI launches the first tattooing standard to help reduce health risk and promote safety

BSI, the business improvement company, publishes the first safety standard for tattooing. The new voluntary standard, BS EN 17169 Tattooing. Safe and hygienic practice, will provide tattooists, industry and government regulators with guidelines to promote safety of both the tattooist and their clients.

It has been prepared by an international committee of health protection experts and tattoo practitioner representatives to help tattooists ensure safe working practices. It aims to reduce the risk of infection through improper or unhygienic practices.

The standard specifies hygiene requirements and recommendations for tattooing, as well as for aftercare, to protect both the client and the tattooist against infection. It gives guidelines for tattooists’ premises, equipment and practices, including their routine interactions with clients and public authorities.

By implementing this standard, tattooists will be able to ensure they have good infection control practices and can provide their services safely for the optimum protection of the client, themselves and others in the tattoo work area.

David Fatscher, Head of Environment, Social and Governance Standards at BSI said: “There are numerous barriers when trying to promote health and safety in tattooing. For the first time, we have published a national standard to help overcome these challenges and build trust with customers.” 

Peter Hoffman, Consultant Clinical Scientist, Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Division, Public Health England said: “This is the first national standard developed for the tattoo industry to provide guidance on effective infection control. Based on scientific evidence and incorporating best practice, it is much welcomed and, if adopted by practitioners, will transform health and safety within the industry.”

It will also help to ensure consistency of tattoo services across national boundaries and enable and support international trading activities and regulatory collaboration.

The standard is available for download here