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Sunbed safety

Advice for businesses with sunbeds, and how to comply with the law

Changes in the law

It's illegal for anyone under 18 to use a sunbed operated by a business. 

The main cause for skin cancer to develop is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This may be from natural sunlight or artificial light (sunbeds or sunlamps).

Advice for businesses

​You need to make sure that persons under 18:

  • do not use a sunbed
  • are not offered the use of a sunbed
  • are not in a restricted zone

Restricted zones

Restricted zones are where those under 18 can't be allowed access.

Where a sunbed is located in a space that is either wholly or partly enclosed for using a sunbed, it becomes a restricted zone, for example:

  • if a sunbed is located within an open changing room
  • if the sunbed is located in a room where other treatments may take place

If your sunbed is enclosed, providing a separate space for changing, the whole enclosure becomes a restricted zone.

How to comply with the law

You need to:

  • ​make sure you follow the supplier or manufacturers safety instructions
  • provide staff with training
  • make sure you have procedures in place to provide immediate assistance to customers using the equipment
  • use screens between units if you have more than one open sunbed in a room
  • ensure light tubes are the correct type and meet the British Standard (BS EN 30335-2-27 - UV radiation is restricted to 0.3Wm2)

It's also good practice to:

  • ​ensure that your equipment is cleaned and sanitised between customers
  • provide adequate eye protection for customers and staff

Additional controls

You must:

  • ​provide staff with information on how to deal with customers who may be under 18
  • train staff in the use of consent forms and to check for ID
  • keep records where staff challenge a potential customer about their age
  • display notices, stating that under 18's are not allowed to use sunbeds  
  • display notices on the entrance to the restricted zone, reminding people that no one under the age of 18 may enter that area
  • remember to exclude the use of the sunbed to those under 18 if you offer package deals or membership