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The health and safety team are responsible for inspecting and advising businesses in Pembrokeshire on safely managing the provision of sunbeds to the public.

According to the Department of Health, the health case for this legislation is clear: skin cancer incidence is increasing. The main cause of skin cancer is over-exposure to Ultraviolet rays - this may be from natural sunlight or artificial rays from the use of sunbeds and sunlamps. Skin cancer typically takes decades to develop, so may not become apparent until years after the damaging exposure.

What is the law regarding sunbed use

In addition the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 that requires general duties from employers to employees and members of public, It is the role of the team to enforce the following two pieces of legislation specifically relating to sunbeds:

Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 - Enforceable in England and Wales
Sunbeds (Regulation ) Act 2010 Wales (Regulations) 2011 - Applies in Wales only

Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010

The above Act prevents the use of sunbeds on commercial business premises by children and young people under the age of 18. The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 imposes a duty on anyone involved in carrying on a sunbed business to ensure that no person under the age of 18 years:

  • uses a sunbed
  • is offered the use of a sunbed
  • is present in a restricted zone

There is no requirement for payment to be made, either directly or indirectly, for the use of the sunbeds in order for the business to come under the definition of a sunbed business

Restricted zone

The definition of a restricted zone is where a sunbed is located in a wholly or partly enclosed space and that space is reserved for the users of that sunbed, every part of that space is a restricted zone.

For example if a sunbed was located in a changing room then the whole changing room would become a restricted zone and no one under 18 years of age would be allowed into this area. 

The following link provides further guidance on the implementation of the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 (opens new window)

Sunbeds (Regulation ) Act 2010 Wales (Regulations) 2011

The Welsh Assembly Government have implemented extra requirements which  prevent the operation of un-manned sunbed salons  in Wales, by requiring a supervisor to make a number of enquiries and to provide assistance and guidance. It is the responsibility of the person who carries on the business to ensure that the supervisor is trained and competent to fulfil the various supervisory requirements set out in the regulations.

A supervisor can be the person who carries on the business or an employee or agent of that person. The supervisor must be present any time a person uses a sunbed or visits the premises to use a sunbed.

The supervisor must:

  • Verify that the person is over 18  - This would require establishment of age using a form of identification/ proof of age.  Reasonable belief of a persons age is not enough.
  • Assist the person to assess their skin type - The supervisor must assist a person to make their own skin assessment (not to assess their skin type for them). This could be by means of using the Fitzpatrick scale* based on skin, eye and hair colour and skin characteristics.

*Fitzpatrick Classification Scale - (please note this is one of many versions of the Fitzpatrick scale that can be used)

Skin Type Skin Colour Characteristics 
1 White; very fair; red or blond hair; blue eyes; freckles Always burns, never tans
2 White; fair; red or blond hair; blue, hazel, or green eyes Usually burns, tans with difficulty
3 Cream white; fair with any eye or hair colour; very common Sometimes mild burn, gradually tans
4 Brown; typical Mediterranean Caucasian skin Rarely burns, tans with ease
5 Dark Brown; mid-eastern skin types Very rarely burns, tans very easily
6 Black Never burns, tans very easily


  • Provide guidance to the person on use of the sunbed taking into account the person's assessment of their skin type and any skin conditions or other relevant medical conditions apparent or disclosed to them - In addition to assessing skin types the supervisors will be required to ask potential users whether they are suffering from any skin condition or taking any medication that might react to exposure to UVR. Supervisors are not required to give advice on whether skin conditions or medication will react to exposure, but should advise that potential users should not expose their skin until they have obtained medical advice. 
  • Advise the person as to the safe operation of the sunbed - For example, the time and manner in which the equipment should be used; use of eye protection; health and safety advice for safe use of the sunbed and any consequences of using tanning accelerators.
  • Provide the prescribed health information - Supervisors must provide to users the information stipulated in schedule 1 of the above mentioned Regulations by means of the A4 yellow sheet entitled "health information for sunbed users." Clients must read this information prior to using the sunbed. Returning customers do not necessarily have to read this each time, however the supervisor should ensure that the client's circumstances have not changed, for example if they have started taking medication.

The leaflet Health information for sunbed users can be downloaded here.

Information stipulated in schedule 2 of the Regulations must be displayed via a notice entitled "health information" in a prominent place at the premises. Usually within each sunbed room/booth. The Health Information Notice can be downloaded here

  • Ensure the provision and use of protective eyewear - The supervisor must ensure that protective eyewear is provided and that multi use eyewear is sanitised after each use. Where a customer provides their own eyewear the onus is on the person running the business to ensure that the eyewear is worn. The supervisor must be able to advise on the risks to eye health of not wearing eye protection and ensure that the user takes them into the cubicle with them.

Sunbeds emit ultraviolet radiation, which can cause tanning and sunburn. There is no evidence to suggest any type of sunbed is less harmful than natural sun exposure. Therefore the above regulations also state that sunbed businesses must not provide or display material containing statements relating to the health effects of sunbeds.

The following link provides further guidance on the implementation of the Sunbeds (Regulation ) Act 2010 Wales (Regulations) 2011

It is best practice for business operators to provide a checklist of the advice given to potential users, so that the customers can sign to demonstrate that they have been given the required advice and assistance.  This could be recorded on the clients record cards along with a record of the users age and exposure times if appropriate.  It is anticipated that such records should be in place as part of your risk assessments as required under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.


Contact Details

For further information contact us:


Health and Safety Team, 
Public Protection Division, 
Pembrokeshire County Council, 
County Hall, 
SA61 1TP


Tel: 01437 775179 
E-mail: health&

ID: 35145 Revised: 16/8/2017

Health and Safety Regulation

Protecting persons at work and members of the public

Health and safety legislation and enforcement aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of people at work, and to safeguard others, mainly members of the public, who may be exposed to risks from the way work is carried out.

Primary responsibility for health and safety in the workplace lies with employers, employees and the self-employed, who are responsible for managing and controlling risks. These are generally referred to as 'duty holders'.

Role and functions of the Health and Safety Team

Health and safety legislation is enforced by inspectors from the national Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and by inspectors from the Local Authority.

Pembrokeshire County Council has health and safety enforcement responsibilities for certain premises and work activities, as determined by the main activity of the workplace. See Local Authority and HSE

The role of Pembrokeshire County Council, as a health and safety enforcing authority, is to ensure that duty holders manage and control risks effectively, thus preventing harm. The work of the service is set out in an annual Health and Safety service plan Appendix 1 Appendix 2

If we need to take enforcement action we follow our Health and Safety Enforcement Policy   

The main functions undertaken by the team are:


In addition to health and safety regulation, the Team is responsible for a range of related public protection functions. These include:

For further information contact:

Health and Safety Team,
Public Protection Division,
Pembrokeshire County Council,
County Hall,
SA61 1TP

Tel: 01437 775179
E-mail: health&

ID: 19552 Revised: 4/12/2015