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Basic Tanning Certification
Indoor Salon Certification
Regulatory Information
Business Resources
Basic Tanning Certification Chapters
Your Skin, The Largest Organ
Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation
Tanning Lamps, A Brief Description
The Tanning Process

Understanding MED and MMD

Determining an Exposure Schedule
Risks of Overexposure
State and Federal Regulations
Understanding Eye Protection
Equipment Sanitation
Equipment Operating Procedures
Tanning Salon Professionalism

Chapter 13
Equipment Operating Procedures

· Standard operating procedures
· Equipment and salon maintenance problems
· Maintenance programs

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

Consistency is the key to any effective operating or maintenance plan. Having a written schedule or list of procedures helps take the guesswork out of what is expected of staff.

Equipment Operating Procedures
Tanning salon owners and operators have a responsibility to educate themselves and operate under the framework of a well structured, informed and ethical procedure. The biological effects of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation are well established. The following sample list is considered to be a general and responsible list of operating procedures.
  1. Utilize a detailed medical history information questionnaire. Include questions on past and present medical history, medications, past tanning history. The client should be reminded to update the tanning facility any time their information changes. A warning statement should be reviewed by the operator with the client. The statement should be signed and dated by the customer on their first visit and renewed annually.
  2. Before a minor is allowed to tan (check with your state�s regulations concerning minors) a parent or legal guardian should give written authorization in the presence of the tanning operator.
  3. Establish your clients� proper skin type. This is very important in order to follow the proper exposure schedule. Utilize a questionnaire to determine sensitivity.
  4. Follow the recommended exposure schedule. The duration and spacing of UV exposures is very important. It is important for you to inform the client of the reasons to follow the guidelines of the exposure schedule and the inherent dangers associated with UV exposure. Inform the client that they are never to tan more than once in a 24-hour period.
  5. The override timing device, which should be located outside of the tanning room, is to be set by the tanning operator.
  6. Post in a conspicuous location warning and proper usage signs. Many states have specific guidelines regarding size, placement and wording of signage.
  7. The operator should give a new client complete instructions on how to use the tanning equipment. (locating the emergency shut off switch, indicating user positioning, use of the cooling system, adjusting of the canopy). It should not be assumed that the client will know how to use the equipment.
  8. Establish an accurate record-keeping system, detailing each client�s visit. Include dates, exposure time, room used and attendant, (many states now require this).
  9. Be sure the equipment in place at your facility has been manufactured in accordance with FDA regulations 21 CFR Part 1040.20.
  10. Be sure that your equipment meets FDA�s 21 CRF Part 1040.20 regarding timer accuracy. (FDA�s policy allows for no more than a �10% error.) Check the timer regularly for accuracy.
  11. Make sure your equipment has all of the required labeling required as part of FDA�s 21 CFR 1040.20.
  12. Be sure the lamps utilized in your equipment are compliant with the manufacturer�s requirements and labeling or replacement lamps are certified to FDA standards to be equivalent to the original equipment lamp listed on the equipment labels (or listed in the Owner�s Manual). Have the lamp compatibility sheet in the records.
  13. Follow the manufacturer�s recommended replacement schedule for acrylic panels or sooner if damaged, cracked or the transmission level has deteriorated.
    NOTE: The use of a UV irradiance metering device can be very helpful for determining acrylic and lamp degradation. Take your initial readings when lamps are new and follow up every 100 hours. Record the date, hours and readings each time. When transmission levels drop below 70 percent, the acrylic panels should be replaced. Therefore a reading of 10 milliwatts with the acrylic off and a reading of less than 7 with it on, is at the replacement stage. Also tanning units equipped with higher UVB output lamps, do in fact reduce acrylic life.
  14. Ensure your equipment has a visible and labeled emergency cut-off switch located on the tanning unit within the reach of the client without having to get out of the tanning unit. This is very important in order for the client to terminate a session. Check to ensure that emergency shut off switch works.
  15. Provide compliance protective eyewear for each client. Protective eyewear must be compliant with CFR 21 1040.20 (c) (4). The eyewear must fit properly, thus not allowing light to filter in through the sides of the eyewear. The purpose for the elastic strap is to provide a proper fit. Ensure that the eyewear is disinfected after each use.
  16. Be sure that your equipment meets the required electrical code requirements for your area. The following are examples of recognized electrical circuitry testing institutions, (UL) Underwriter�s Laboratory, (ETL) Electrical Testing Laboratory, (CSA) Canadian Standard Association. NOTE: Many states and local areas have specific guidelines regarding acceptable testing.
  17. Be sure that your staff never misinforms a client about the health risks associated with UV exposure. Never use the verbiage SAFE or APPROVED in any way to describe the usage of tanning equipment.


Emergency Procedures
When in doubt, have the client seek medical attention immediately. If it is an emergency or the client is unable to seek attention on their own, contact 911. (A list of appropriate contact numbers should be kept by the phone.) All injuries should be documented and brought to the attention of management. Certain state�s regulations require that a particular state agency must be notified within a given time frame. Check with your state�s regulations.

If an eye injury occurs, depending the severity, the client should be referred to an ophthalmologist or an emergency room.

Self Care
If a sunburn has occurred a cool bath or shower will be helpful in pulling out the heat. Not type of ointment should be put on to the skin until the heat is out. Products containing benzocaine should be avoided because they can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

It is important to note that if a sunburn begins to blister or the client feels ill, they should seek the advice of their physician immediately.

Most Common Equipment & Salon Maintenance Problems

  1. Sunbed is overheating
    1. Inspect the fan filters and grills for cleanliness
    2. Check the fans to see if operating
    3. Provide adequate air conditioning and ventilation
  2. Tanning unit not providing favorable tanning results
    1. Check your lamps
      • Check the lamp�s hours of operation (most tanning devices have an hour meter to record total unit hours. Check owner�s manual for location.)
      • Use a UV meter to review and compare outputs
      • Check for lamp compatibility and compliance
    2. Inspect the acrylic panels
      • Check the usage hours (Refer to manufacturer�s life expectancy guide)
      • Visually inspect for yellowing
      • Use a UV meter to compare output
      • Clean and polish acrylic panels
    3. Clean and polish reflector systems
    4. Check incoming line voltage
      • Applies to choke start and electronic ballast only
      • Use a digital display voltmeter for testing
  3. Lamps flickering and hard to start
    1. Classic low voltage problem
      • Check voltage with a digital voltmeter
      • Install a buck boost transformer
    2. Could be the result of a bad starter
  4. Burning odor in sunroom
    1. The most common source is a bad lamp socket
    2. Electrical short at a terminal
    3. Bad ballast, very common with electronic ballasts
    4. A binding fan motor
    5. An electrical short at the power plug
  5. Salon is excessively warm
    1. All salons require additional air conditioning
    2. A 24-26 lamp bed requires 3/4 ton a/c per bed
    3. A 30-40 lamp bed will require 1 + ton a/c per bed
    4. Booths should be vented to the outside
    5. 3.90 times total wattage equals BTU output
    6. 1 Ton A/C = 12,000 BTU
    7. Leaving the front or back door open doesn’t work
      • Allows warm damp air in
      • Bugs are drawn to light
      • Incredible liability problems
  6. Timer not accurate and/or inoperable
    1. Test with an accurate watch and record timer test results in minutes and seconds in your maintenance log
    2. Replace immediately any timer that is inaccurate by more than 10%
    3. Should always have a remote timer
  7. Top of sunbed will not stay up
    1. Adjust brake system if applicable
    2. Adjust gas shock mounting position if applicable
    3. Adjust spring mounting points on spring lift beds
    4. Insure the correct weight value on gas shock
    5. Replace gas shocks or springs where applicable
    6. Incorrect acrylic panel on top
      • The top acrylic is usually thinner, thus lighter
      • Rotating the acrylics is not recommended
      NOTE: Do not leave sunbeds in the exposure (down) position between clients uses. This wears out the shocks at least twice as fast.
  8. Not getting the advertised lamp life as expected
    1. Start a lamp rotation system
    2. Rotate at 50 percent to 60 percent of the manufacturer’s suggest life
    3. If a lamp is advertised at 1000 hours
      • Replace the top with new lamps at 500-600 hours
      • Move the top lamps to the bottom
      • Document the lamp change
      • The net result is a true 1,000-1,200 hours of life
    4. Also invoke more frequent cleaning of sunbed
    5. Check and replace acrylics if degraded
  9. Acrylic panels crack prematurely
    1. Always ask for acrylic that has been �annealed�
    2. Go to the next thickness of acrylic if on bottom
    3. Install extra acrylic supports
The following is a brief daily, weekly and monthly maintenance program.

Turn the tanning bed on and make sure the lamps are lit.
Run the unit for three minutes.
Check for unusual noises and smell the bed for any electrical problems or burning.
Check the vents for any clogs caused by dust or hair.
Dust the outside of the unit.
After each use of the tanning unit, clean and disinfect the acrylic shield, top and bottom, and any other areas of the unit that may have come in contact with the client with an approved acrylic cleaner and disinfectant.
*Wear eye protection when turning on the beds. This applies to all maintenance issues where the bed needs to be turned on to check proper functioning.


Remove the acrylic shields, top and bottom, clean and dust both sides of each.
Wipe the reflectors and lamps with a clean, damp cloth.
Wipe the entire machine with an approved disinfectant.
Vacuum the fan inlets and screen as well as the ends of the beds where the air flow begins.
Vacuum around the starters if your unit has them also vacuum around the sockets where the lamps are mounted and along the sides of the lamps.

Remove the inspection plates and vacuum the area.
Vacuum around the ballasts.
Vacuum the reflector channels, air-flow inlets and fan mounts.
Remove and wipe the lamps with a clean, damp cloth.
Clean the reflectors while the lamps are out.
Clean both sides of the acrylic with an approved cleanser and disinfectant.

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