At this time, the BodySafe program is only following up with complaints related to personal services settings (PSS). Routine inspections are currently suspended.

BodySafe is Toronto Public Health’s safety program that inspects personal service settings (PSS).

All health units in Ontario must conduct an annual health inspection and follow up on complaints associated with PSS. This process ensures that owners and operators operate their business in accordance with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Guide to Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Services Settings (PDF). 

The purpose of the BodySafe program is to ensure that PSS owners/operators use safe practices to prevent the spread of infections, such as:

Personal service settings are businesses that provide the following services:

  • hairstyling and barbering
  • tattooing
  • micropigmentation
  • ear and body piercing
  • electrolysis
  • manicures and pedicures
  • aesthetics (e.g., waxing, facials, , laser hair removal)
  • injectable personal services

Revisions to the Licensing By-Law

Under Municipal Code 545, Licensing By-Law, all establishments offering personal services will be required to get a PSS licence and post their inspection notices at or near the entrance of the business, so that it is clearly visible to the public.

Requirements for PSS Establishments:

  1. All PSS must comply with Ontario Regulation 136/18
  2. Notify Toronto Public Health before opening a new PSS in writing at
  3. Pass an inspection by Toronto Public Health
    • Note: An inspection is required before a PSS licence is issued only for new premises and premises that offer tattooing, micropigmentation, ear and body piercing and electrolysis services.
  4. Obtain PSS licence from the City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) division.
  5. Post the inspection notice sign (BodySafe sign) provided by Toronto Public Health:
    • in a place clearly visible to members of the public
    • at or near the entrance to the establishment
  6. Notify Toronto Public Health at and ML&S in advance of any changes to the types of personal services that are offered to clients so that they are included on the licence.

Types of Inspections

There are two types of inspection results that will be posted on BodySafe web pages:

  1. Inspection

An inspection is conducted once a year at a minimum by a Public Health Inspector.

  1. Re-inspection

A re-inspection is conducted if there are any infractions identified during the original health inspection. Re-inspections will occur within 48 hours if a service or establishment is not closed.

Establishment Level Inspection Results

The establishment level inspection result provides the overall outcome of the inspection.

Inspection Report Notice Infraction Examples

  • A Pass notice will be issued when no infractions are observed with any service during an inspection.
BodySafe green inspection pass notice (poster)
  • No infractions identified
Conditional Pass

Significant infractions:

  • Present a potential health hazard
  • A conditional pass notice will be issued when one or more significant infractions are observed during the inspection, or one or more crucial infraction(s) are observed during an inspection and the crucial infractions can be corrected during the inspection.
  • A Public Health Inspector will re-inspect the establishment within 48 business hours of the initial inspection.
  • If the infractions are corrected upon re-inspection and no other infractions are found, a Pass notice will be issued.
BodySafe yellow inspection conditional pass notice (poster)
  • Hands not cleaned as necessary
  • Items not in good repair and the work environment is not clean or tidy
  • Work area does not have a smooth impervious surface and is not well lit
  • Single-use items are being re-used
  • Products and items are not maintained in a sanitary manner
  • Failure to maintain required records on site for one year or on file for five years
Service(s) Closed

Crucial infractions:

  • Present an immediate health hazard
  • A service(s) closed notice will be issued when there is one or more crucial infraction(s) that cannot be corrected during the time of the inspection.
  • When there is more than one service at a PSS and one of the services is required to close, a Service(s) Closed result will occur. The notice will indicate the service(s) that are closed.
  • When all of the infractions are corrected, the establishment will receive a Pass notice.
BodySafe red inspection closed notice (poster)
  • No sink with hot and cold running water or 70% alcohol-based hand rub
  • Items are not cleaned and disinfected with the correct disinfectant between clients
  • Items are not stored in a manner to prevent contamination
  • Sharps are not discarded immediately after use into an approved sharps container
  • Gloves are not used when required and changed between clients as needed
  • Items that are invasive, such as needles, are not pre-packaged, sterile and discarded between clients
  • Mechanical sterilizers (i.e. autoclaves) are not spore tested every two weeks
Establishment Closed

Crucial infractions:

  • Present an immediate health hazard.
  • A closed notice will be issued when there is one or more crucial infraction(s) that cannot be corrected during the time of the inspection.
  • When all the personal services are closed in a PSS, an Establishment Closed result will occur. The notice will indicate that all the services are closed.
  • When all of the infractions are corrected, the establishment will receive a Pass notice.

Service Level Inspection Results

Each establishment has at least one personal service they provide to the public, such as hairstyling. In many cases, one establishment can provide several different types of services, such as hairstyling and ear piercing. An establishment that provides more than one service is called a multi-service establishment. There are four inspection results that can occur at the service level.

Inspection Result Example

No infractions are identified during the inspection or re-inspection

Inspected the hair and ear piercing services and both services had no infractions.
Not satisfactory

One or more infractions were identified during the inspection or re-inspection.

Inspected the hair and ear piercing services. Hair services had no infractions, but the ear piercing device was not being cleaned properly.
In progress

An inspection of a service was attempted but could not be completed.

The hair service was inspected but the person who provides ear piercing was not available that day for an inspection. The Inspector will need to return to complete the ear piercing inspection.
Service closure

A service was ordered to close until infractions associated with that service are all corrected.

The ear piercing service was closed because there was no disinfectant to disinfect the device at the establishment.

Establishment Risk & Frequency of Inspection

Each PSS establishment is categorized into three risk levels depending on the type of services that are provided in the establishment. All establishments are inspected when there is a complaint, regardless of risk level.

Establishment Risk Level Minimum Number of Inspections per Year Risk Assessment Criteria
Critical  Once per year and Complaint basis A service that uses any tool or item that penetrates the skin (used for invasive procedures).  Includes the following services:

  • tattooing
  • piercing
  • electrolysis
  • micropigmentation
  • invasive facials
Semi-Critical Once per year and Complaint basis A service that uses any tool or item that may come into contact with non intact skin or mucous membranes, but is not intended to penetrate them.  Includes the following services:

  • hair cutting and barbering
  • manicures and pedicures
  • waxing
  • facials
 Non-Critical Complaint basis only A service that uses any tool or item that may come into contact with intact skin.  Includes the following services:

  • non-invasive facials
  • massage

If you are considering opening a PSS in your home, ensure you have approval from Zoning before you request your health inspection or apply for a PSS Licence. You can submit an application through Zoning for a fee, to confirm the use of your property for compliance with Zoning By-Laws.

IPAC Information Sheets

IPAC Courses for Owners/Operators

Toronto Public Health is offering two Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) courses for personal services settings (PSS) owners/operators. In these courses, owners/operators will learn about current IPAC practices and how to protect their clients and themselves from infections.

There are two courses available:

  • IPAC General Concepts and Requirements
  • Sterilization in PSS

You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the end of each course. Visit Toronto Public Health’s online booking for more details and to register for a course.


  1. Ensure Service Worker Hand Hygiene and Safety

  • Provide a sink with hot and cold running water, soap in a dispenser, and single-use towels.
  • Provide 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer that can be used if hands are not visibly dirty. If visibly dirty, employees must wash hands with soap and water.
  • Perform hand hygiene after each client.
  • Discard all sharps into an approved sharps container. Do not discard the sharps container with municipal garbage.
  • Do not provide service to clients with a rash, fungus or any open wound.
  1. Clean and Disinfect Reusable Items Properly

  • Clean items with soap and water before they are disinfected.
  • Disinfect items with the right level of disinfectant and for the correct contact time.
  • Clean and disinfect items between clients.
  • If your footbath has a screen, remove the screen for proper cleaning and disinfection. Remove the screen at the end of each day for footbaths with pipes and between clients for pipe-less footbaths.
  • Launder or discard linen between clients.
  1. Dispense and Store Items in a Sanitary Manner

  • Dispense products in a sanitary manner – do not double dip!
  • Store items in a sanitary manner.
  1. Use Items on One Client Only

  • Single-use non-invasive items must only be used on one client.
  • Single person use items must be cleaned and then disinfected with a high-level disinfectant before and after each use.
  • Discard disposable cartridges and parts for ear piercing devices, after each client.
  • Discard single-use plastic wrap between clients.
  1. Keep Items in Good Repair and the Work Environment Clean and Tidy

  • Do not use any item that is rusted, broken or ripped.
  • Work areas should have a smooth non-porous surface and should be well lit.
  • For invasive procedures, clean and disinfect work surface areas between clients. Use a low-level disinfectant.
  • For all other procedures, clean and disinfect work surface areas between clients and at the end of each day. Use a low-level disinfectant.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces contaminated with blood or body fluids with gloved hands, right away. Use a high-level disinfectant.
  1. Maintain Records On-Site for One Year and On File for Five Years

  • Any blood or body fluid exposure
  • Any item that is purchased as pre-packaged and sterile
  • Every autoclave cycle
  • Every client that receives an invasive procedure.
  • All spore test results
  1. Follow All Invasive Procedure Requirements

  • Clean and then sterilize all critical items or use purchased sterile pre-packaged and single-use items.
  • Wear gloves and change them between clients and as needed.
  • Use an appropriate antiseptic on a client’s skin before an invasive procedure.
  • Provide clients with written and verbal aftercare information for piercing, tattooing and micropigmentation.
  1. Follow All Autoclave Requirements

  • Clean all items that are to be sterilized first. If an ultrasonic cleaner is used, it must be operated with the lid, cleaned and then disinfected daily. The solution must be changed daily.
  • The autoclave must be approved for use on packaged items.
  • Handle all sterilized items dry and maintain sterility until point of use.
  • Test all autoclaves used in the business once every two weeks with a spore challenge. If the autoclave fails a spore test (comes back positive), report the failure to Toronto Public Health right away.
  • Following a failed spore test, use only items sterilized when the autoclave had passed the spore test OR use purchased sterile, pre-packaged and single-use items. The autoclave must pass 3 consecutive tests before it can be used again.
  • Use temperature indicators on all packaged items. These indicators must change colour after going through the autoclave. If it does not change colour, do not use the item. Run it through the autoclave again.

For a copy of this information in the following languages, please email

  • 中文 / Simplified Chinese
  • 中文 / Traditional Chinese
  • Italiano / Italian
  • 한국어 / Korean
  • Português / Portuguese
  • Русский / Russian
  • Español / Spanish
  • தமிழ் / Tamil
  • Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese

Special events (including conventions, expos, shows, and fairs) in the City of Toronto that offer personal services on-site must comply with infection prevention & control guidelines and with all applicable sections of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Best Practices for Personal Services Settings (PSS) document (January 2009), under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O., 1990.